Movie museum planned in Wellington, New Zealand

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Day and Date Down Under

Plans are afoot for a movie museum in Sir Peter Jackson's hometown of Wellington, New Zealand. The NZ$134 million (US$89 million) 10,000-square-foot development will be three stories high and will be built on prime waterfront land in the heart of Wellington. The Wellington foreshore already has a highly acclaimed museum, Te Papa, which features on many tourist itineraries (more later).

The new museum is a joint venture between Jackson, Sir Richard Taylor and the Wellington council. The council will build the property, with Jackson and Taylor financing the internal fit-out of the facility.

"The movie museum will be home to thousands of the priceless designs, props, models and pieces from numerous film productions," said project director George Hickson. The facility will have the space for whole sets and is sure to include items from King Kong, The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit films.

Meanwhile, Te Papa is holding a DreamWorks Animation exhibition. It includes early drawings, characters in various stages of progression, final drawings and more. It will be at Te Papa until late March.

DreamWorks is about to change its distribution Down Under. In 2016, distribution of DreamWorks films will be overseen by eOne under the brand of Amblin Partners in both Australia and New Zealand. eOne is also handling DreamWorks in the U.K. and Benelux.

Well, how can I not talk about Star Wars: The Force Awakens? As in the majority of territories around the world, It has broken records in both Australia and New Zealand, with best opening day, best weekend and best week records tumbling. The advent of digital projection also allowed the film to achieve the widest release ever in Australia, where it ran on 941 of the country's approximately 2,000 screens. Analysts expect it to finish up as the highest-grossing film ever in both territories.

Send your Australia/New Zealand news to David Pearce at insidemovies@hotmail.com.