That's how you know you've made it. Hobbit star Martin Freeman arrived in Auckland, New Zealand today in true movie-star style ahead of the film's premiere, in a jet emblazoned with his own face. A longstanding favourite in the UK, the former 'The Office' star is poised for international fame upon the release of the new instalment of the Lord of The Rings franchise, 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.' This leap from household name to Hollywood stardom is marked by Air New Zealand's decision to paint the faces of Freeman and his co-stars across the side of a Boeing 777 jet.
The Hobbit graphic is the largest of its kind to be placed on the exterior of a jet Air New Zealand and the country as a whole seem to have taken Hampshire born Freeman to their hearts. The airline is reported to have spend the larger percentage of its £51 million pound marketing budget for the coming two years on Hobbit-inspired advertising. The giant movie graphic is the largest ever image of its kind to be put on the side of a plane.
The plane was on show to the public yesterday at LAX in in Los Angeles before escorting stars to the premiere The new film, the first of a three part epic prequel to the billion dollar franchise. Director Peter Jackson's latest outing from middle earth is set to be a huge revenue spinner at the box office alone. His previous Tolkien adaptations grossed a total of $6billion in movie tickets and DVD sales, and earned 17 Oscars from all three films.
Martin Freeman is set to become the face of New Zealand as The Hobbit becomes the centre of the country's tourism campaigns
The face of New Zealand: Martin Freeman arrives in Auckland ahead the The Hobbit's premiere in Wellington this week
Freeman and co-star Richard Armitage flew in from Los Angeles for the premiere
Air New Zealand flight crew pose with Hobbit-themed eye masks and flight socks as part of the airline's promotion source: dailymail
The Hobbit flies in! Blockbuster theme is painted on side of plane as stars arrive in New Zealand ahead of world premiere
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