More than 700 Hobbit fans turned out at Wellington's Embassy Theatre on Tuesday to meet the Hobbit trilogy's director Sir Peter Jackson and get a sneak preview of the next instalment The Desolation of Smaug.
Thousands of tickets have been up for grabs for the event which is being simulcast in New York, Los Angeles and London.
Sir Peter was greeted by deafening applause as he took to the stage, saying he dressed up especially for the event pointing to his trademark shoeless feet.
One fan, Sam Price, says he came a long way for the full Hobbit experience.
"We've come all the way from the UK ... We want to go out and see all the Hobbit stuff and the Lord of the Rings stuff, we want to go and explore the Hobbit set and things like that so it's all exciting for us."
People in the audience were sworn to secrecy as they are among the first to see a preview of the film. The Desolation of Smaug opens in New Zealand on 12 December.