Celebrity-free Kiwi premieres looking likely for Mission: Impossible – Fallout and The Meg

The New Zealand debut of the latest Mission: Impossible will be somewhat more low-key than its Paris premiere.

New Zealand features in two Hollywood blockbusters next month, but don’t expect any of the international stars to return to our shores to promote them.

Distributors for both Mission: Impossible – Fallout and The Meg have confirmed any premieres here will be low-key Tom Cruise and Jason Statham-free affairs, although plans for the Kiwi debut of the latter, more than 90 per cent of which was shot here, are still being negotiated.

Fallout had its world premiere in Paris on Friday morning New Zealand time, while The Meg is likely to either make its bow in China (whose China Media Capital-owned Gravity Pictures co-financed the film) or Hollywood.

And, unlike most big-budget movies, Kiwi cinemagoers won’t even get to see them at the same time as the rest of the world – Fallout is scheduled to open here on August 2 (after debuting in the US and other territories a week earlier), while The Meg’s August 16 New Zealand opening date is also around seven days later than other markets.

Tom Cruise: Not coming to a Mission: Impossible - Fallout premiere near you.

Thibault Camus

Tom Cruise: Not coming to a Mission: Impossible – Fallout premiere near you.

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The lack of a international star-studded premiere seems to have become commonplace in recent years, with partly or wholly New Zealand-shot movies like A Wrinkle in Time, Pete’s Dragon and Ghost in the Shell debuting here without much local fanfare.  It’s a far cry from earlier this century when Wellington rolled out the red carpet for both The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. A red carpet premiere for Tom Cruise’s last film here – The Last Samurai – took place in New Plymouth without him in January 2004.

It is still to early to tell whether the Sir Peter Jackson-produced Mortal Engines will be launched in glitzy fashion in the Capital, with only a London premiere confirmed in May for December 11, a few days before its worldwide release.

Kiwi audiences will have to wait almost a week after places like the US to see the party NZ-shot blockbuster.

New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Annabelle Sheehan says premieres are discussed with studios on a case-by-case basIs.  

“Each partnership is negotiated to get the strongest economic benefit for New Zealand, while balancing the requirements of the production. Some partnerships have included a New Zealand premiere, for example The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had its worldwide premiere in New Zealand, which created unprecedented media coverage for New Zealand and the Avatar MOU [Memorandum of Understanding, signed by the National Government in December 2013] includes a provision for one of the films to have its worldwide premiere in New Zealand.” 

That Avatar memorandum was signed when there were three films planned. Director James Cameron is currently shooting two sequels (with the New Zealand part of the production expected to ramp up by the end of the year), with two more proposed after that.

It looks like we won't be seeing Jason Statham back in New Zealand to help promote The Meg.

It looks like we won’t be seeing Jason Statham back in New Zealand to help promote The Meg.

Avatar 2 is currently scheduled to be released in December, 2020, with Avatar 3 debuting 12 months later.


 – Stuff

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