‘Hobbit’ to preem in N.Y. as AFI benefit

Pic bows Dec. 6 at Ziegfeld

Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” will have its U.S. premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City on December 6 as a benefit for the education and preservation initiatives of the American Film Institute.

Pic, the first in a trilogy from J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterwork produced by New Line Cinemas and MGM, will be released nationwide on December 14 from Warner Bros. Pictures. The U.S. premiere is presented in conjunction with Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema and MGM.

“The world eagerly awaits a journey back to Middle-earth,” said Bob Gazzale, CEO of the American Film Institute. “We are honored the filmmakers have chosen AFI to host this landmark moment in film history. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy is represented among the greatest movies of all time as part of AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies list, and all three films have been honored at AFI Awards, the American Film Institute’s ‘almanac’ of the year’s most outstanding achievements in film and television.”

The Ziegfeld, built in 1969, is NYC’s largest single screen venue.

Benefit ticket packages and individual tickets are available through the American Film Institute at AFI.com/thehobbit.