A production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, the first film in The Hobbit Trilogy was released on DVD and Blu-Ray today to the North American market.
It includes a six-minute feature, New Zealand home of Middle-earth, made up of cast interviews, movie locations, behind-the-scenes discussions and sweeping shots of the New Zealand landscape.
The feature is now available for the world to view on Tourism New Zealand's Facebook page '100% Pure New Zealand', consumer website newzealand.com and You Tube channel.
Tourism New Zealand's Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the feature will provide New Zealand with immeasurable exposure.
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is enormously popular, having passed US$1 billion in worldwide box office takings, and the endorsement New Zealand receives from the international cast in this new feature on the DVD release is amazing.
"There is also a piece of extra content on the DVD/Blu-Ray where the movie makers show the real landscapes of New Zealand before any visual effects are added - clearly showing that while the movie is a fantasy, the locations are very real."
This message is reinforced by members of the film's cast, with Sylvester McCoy (the film's Radagast the Brown) exclaiming: "It's real. It's the real countryside… at first you think, 'Wow, what a great job they did,' but… it's the real thing."
Bowler says that members of the international cast spent months here and the affection they show for New Zealand is both genuine and heart-felt.
"Tourism New Zealand's objective is to distribute the content via all its channels, to reach as many potential travellers as possible.
"As part of the DVD release, the New Zealand feature will go into millions of homes around the world.
"But we believe the appeal of this piece is wider than just The Hobbit movie fans.
"We want to get it in front of all those people out there already considering New Zealand for their next holiday because the endorsement given in such a genuine manner by international stars will help travellers decide to visit."
The feature ends with Martin Freeman, the film's title character Bilbo Baggins, declaring, "meanwhile, the backdrop is so beautiful, people will think it's CGI, it looks too perfect. You can use that as an advert for New Zealand if you want!"