Calling him the country's "man of the moment," the New Zealand Herald reported today that it took Jackson a half-hour to cover the red carpet in front of the theater as he stopped to sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans behind the ropes.
"This is the proudest moment to have Wellington turn out and be part of this," he told the newspaper. "This is the real premiere."
British actor Orlando Bloom, who plays Legolas in the film, said that he had attended the premieres in London and New York, but "this beats everywhere, man."
Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo, added, "It's heartwarming, especially as the hearts of these films live in New Zealand."