'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' has celebrated its world premiere in New Zealand's capital Wellington.

Over 100,000 fans turned out to see the stars and crew behind the 'Hobbit' debut the long-awaited Peter Jackson film, according to Stuff.co.nz.

Andy Serkis ran along the red carpet high-fiving people, while Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett and Elijah Wood also signed autographs.

Ian McKellen, who plays the wizard Gandalf, was absent but sent the message: "I wish I were there in my spiritual home in Wellington."

Also on the carpet was J.R.R. Tolkien's great-grandson, Royd Tolkien.

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  • NZEALAND-ENTERTAINMENT-FILM-HOBBIT

    Actress Evangeline Lilly arrives for the world premiere of 'The Hobbit' movie in Courtenay Place in Wellington on November 28, 2012. Huge crowds swarmed into central Wellington on November 28 for the world premiere of Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit', an event that has sparked Middle Earth mania in New Zealand. AFP PHOTO / Marty Melville (Photo credit should read Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)

  • "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" World Premiere

    WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 28: Evangeline Lilly and James Nesbitt, who plays Bofur, arrive at the 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' World Premiere at Embassy Theatre on November 28, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" World Premiere

    WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 28: Evangeline Lilly arrives at the 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' World Premiere at Embassy Theatre on November 28, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • NZEALAND-ENTERTAINMENT-FILM-HOBBIT

    Actor James Nesbitt (L) poses with Evangeline Lilly upon arrival for the world premiere of 'The Hobbit' movie in Courtenay Place in Wellington on November 28, 2012. Huge crowds swarmed into central Wellington on November 28 for the world premiere of Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit', an event that has sparked Middle Earth mania in New Zealand. AFP PHOTO / Marty Melville (Photo credit should read Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)

  • "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" World Premiere

    WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 28: Evangeline Lilly arrives at the 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' World Premiere at Embassy Theatre on November 28, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" World Premiere

    WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 28: Evangeline Lilly and James Nesbitt, who plays Bofur, arrive at the 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' World Premiere at Embassy Theatre on November 28, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" World Premiere

    WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 28: Evangeline Lilly arrives at the 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' World Premiere at Embassy Theatre on November 28, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" World Premiere

    WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 28: Evangeline Lilly arrives at the 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' World Premiere at Embassy Theatre on November 28, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Yao Chen

    Chinese actress Yao Chen poses on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Evangeline Lilly

    Cast member Canadian actress Evangeline Lilly waves to audience on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • William Kirchner

    Cast member William Kircher who plays Bifur poses on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Peter Hambleton, Jed Brophy

    Cast members Peter Hambleton, left, who plays Gloin and Jed Brophy who plays Nori, pose on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" World Premiere

    WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 28: Director Peter Jackson emerges from from a Hobbit house before delivering a speech at the 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' World Premiere at Embassy Theatre on November 28, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Richard Armitage

    Cast member Richard Armitage poses on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Barry Humphries, Sylvester McCoy

    Cast members Barry Humphries, left, who plays Great Goblin, his wife Lizzie Spender, center, and Sylvester McCoy who plays Radagast, on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Sylvester McCoy

    Sylvester McCoy who plays Radagast on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Andy Serkis

    Cast member Andy Serkis, right, and his wife Loraine Ashbourne pose on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Barry Humphries

    Cast member Barry Humphries who plays Great Goblin on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • NZEALAND-ENTERTAINMENT-FILM-HOBBIT

    Director Peter Jackson (R) poses for a photo with his daughter Katie during the world premiere of 'The Hobbit' movie in Courtenay Place in Wellington on November 28, 2012. Huge crowds swarmed into central Wellington on November 28 for the world premiere of Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit', an event that has sparked Middle Earth mania in New Zealand. AFP PHOTO / Marty Melville (Photo credit should read Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)

  • NZEALAND-ENTERTAINMENT-FILM-HOBBIT

    Director Peter Jackson (R) poses for a photo with his daughter Katie during the world premiere of 'The Hobbit' movie in Courtenay Place in Wellington on November 28, 2012. Huge crowds swarmed into central Wellington on November 28 for the world premiere of Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit', an event that has sparked Middle Earth mania in New Zealand. AFP PHOTO / Marty Melville (Photo credit should read Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)

  • "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" World Premiere

    WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 28: Director Peter Jackson emerges from from a Hobbit house before delivering a speech at the 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' World Premiere at Embassy Theatre on November 28, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" World Premiere

    WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 28: Director Peter Jackson emerges from from a Hobbit house before delivering a speech at the 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' World Premiere at Embassy Theatre on November 28, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

  • Cate Blanchett

    Cast member Cate Blanchett poses on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Peter Jackson

    Director Peter Jackson, right, poses with his daughter Katie on the red carpet at the premiere of his new film "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Martin Freeman

    Martin Freeman who plays Bilbo Baggins poses on the red carpet for the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at Embassy Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Hugo Weaving, James Nesbitt

    Cast members Hugo Weaving, left, and James Nesbitt pose on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood

    Cate Blanchett, who plays Galadriel, left, hugs Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo, on the red carpet for the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at Embassy Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Peter Jackson

    Director Peter Jackson, right, poses with his daughter Katie on the red carpet at the premiere of his new film "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Elijah Wood

    Elijah Wood who plays Frodo poses on his arrival for the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at Embassy Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Hugo Weaving, James Nesbitt

    Cast members Hugo Weaving, left, and James Nesbitt pose on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Mark Hadlow

    Cast member Mark Hadlow smiles on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Richard Armitage

    Cast member Richard Armitage poses on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • James Nesbitt

    Cast member James Nesbitt poses on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Andy Serkis

    Cast member Andy Serkis, left, and his wife Loraine Ashbourne pose on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • John Callen

    Cast member John Callen smiles on the red carpet at the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," at the Embassy Theatre, in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Protesters against the death of animals during the filming of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" display a banner on the red carpet for the premiere of the movie in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • Protesters against the death of animals during the filming of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" display banners on the red carpet for the premiere of the movie in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

  • An actor dressed as Shire folk warms up the crowd on the red carpet for the premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/SNPA, Ross Setford) NEW ZEALAND OUT

Director Jackson, at a news conference hours before the premiere, said he hopes the new technology he used on his 'Hobbit' film trilogy will create a magical experience that will get people into theatres.

He said the films were shot at 48 frames per second instead of the traditional 24 to give them greater clarity.

The director likened the technology to the leap from vinyl records to CDs.

He said we live in an age when many younger people are happy to watch movies on their iPads.

"We just have to make the cinema-going experience more magical and more spectacular to get people coming back to the movies again," he said.

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At the Cinema Con theatre owner's convention in April, Jackson got a mixed reception for preview footage of 'The Hobbit' shown at 48 frames per second.

Some observers thought the images were too clear and the result so realistic that it took away from the magic of the film medium.

Jackson said that when the movie opens worldwide next month in 25,000 theatres that only about 1,000 of them will be equipped to show the movie in 48 frames, so most people will see it in the more traditional format. The movie has also been shot in 3D.

"You are dipping your toe in the water, and it's this new way of shooting and projecting a film," Jackson said.

Jackson and most of the stars of the trilogy, including lead actor Martin Freeman, who plays hobbit Bilbo Baggins, held a relaxed, joking news conference at the museum Te Papa.

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