The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
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10 items from 2004

Serkis Visits Gorillas

1 September 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actor Andy Serkis stunned his King Kong co-stars by flying out to Rwanda to spend time with gorillas - to prepare him for his role in the remake. The Lord Of The Rings star is so determined to adopt the right mindset ahead of the big budget Peter Jackson film, he's willing to trying any method to enhance his understanding of the movie. And actress Naomi Watts - who will play Fay Wray, the object of giant gorilla King Kong's desire - is astounded by Serkis' dedication to his work. She says, "He's extraordinary, the amount of research he's done. He brought back incredible tapes of gorilla behavior that we need to get very familiar with." »

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Rousing welcome in Japan for final chapter of 'Rings'

16 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

As it totes up a slew of awards-season honors -- the latest being top recognition by BAFTA -- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King continues to cash in at the overseas boxoffice, marked this past weekend by a gargantuan welcome by Japan -- $14.7 million (with previews) from 729 screens. The opening in Japan, a last stop (with the exception of China on March 15) of the final offering of the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy, pushed the Peter Jackson-directed multi-prize winner to the weekend forefront with a $21.5 million take from about 4,128 screens in 60 markets, lifting the offshore cume to an eye-catching $618.4 million. Japan opened 37% higher than the series' second installment, The Two Towers, and 70% better than The Fellowship of the Ring. It was a generally lively weekend at the international boxoffice, aided somewhat by winter school holidays and Valentine's Day celebrations in a number of markets. »

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Bad '03 for Aussie pics at home

5 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- Australians audience were much more interested in foreign film releases than homegrown fare last year, with the domestic market share of the boxoffice notching up just 3.5% of total receipts, equating to AUS$30.3 million ($23.1 million). That marks the lowest result since 1999, when local films managed to clinch a mere 3% market share. The figures were released to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday by the Australian Film Commission, based on data from the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia, which last month reported an overall 2.5% increase in the country's 2003 boxoffice to AUS$865.7 million (HR 1/23). That result was driven by Finding Nemo, The Matrix Reloaded and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which together account for more than AUS$100 million ($76.2 million) of last year's boxoffice. »

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'Towers' wins DVD award

4 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

ROME -- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was named DVD of the Year at the inaugural Italian DVD Awards, which took place Monday evening in Milan. A seven-member jury of actors, directors and journalists decided the winners, based not on the artistic merits of the films but on the technical quality of the DVDs, including graphics, ease of navigation and packaging. »

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Aussie box office up 2.5%

22 January 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The Australian box office continues its record of continuing growth, with the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia on Thursday announcing that grosses last year rose 2.5% to AUS$865.7 million ($666 million). Finding Nemo and The Matrix Reloaded and The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers were the top three performers. The results reflect almost 15 years of box office gains in Australia, interrupted only in 2000 when the Sydney Olympics and the introduction of a goods and services tax created a slight slump. Piracy however is posing an increasing threat to the industry, the MPDAA warned. »

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Homegrown movies help break NZ box-office records

19 January 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Two local movies -- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Whale Rider -- catapulted the New Zealand box office to a record-breaking NZ$153 million ($102.51 million) in 2003, said the Motion Picture Distributors Association Monday. The figures are due to be released Tuesday. New Line's The Two Towers earned NZ$12 million (US$8 million) while the home-grown hit Whale Rider notched up $6.35 million (US$4.2 million) to finish fourth, behind Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (NZ$6.7 million/US$4.48 million) and The Matrix Reloaded (NZ$6.4 million/US$4.28 million) but just ahead of Finding Nemo (NZ$6.3 million/US$4.22 million]. Total box office was up 10.8% on 2002, MPDA executive Bill Hood said. He attributed the jump to the Rings and Potter sequels, strong product for all tastes, and inclement weekend weather. Based on an average ticket price of NZ$8.50 (US$5.69), there were 18 million admissions, according to the association. »

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'Samurai' charging hard but 'Rings' at top again

13 January 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The holidays may be ending in many overseas markets, but that didn't stop The Last Samurai from challenging The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King for the weekend global boxoffice championship. In a tight race for top offshore honors, Rings prevailed, with the finale of the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy bringing in an estimated $35.2 million from 8,813 screens in 51 markets, while Samurai captured $32.3 million from 3,397 screens in 13 countries. As it started the fourth week of its overseas journey, Rings showed signs of relinquishing first place in a few markets, but it held tight in key places such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia and Taiwan, among others. The international cume of the New Line production has reached $454.9 million and the gross, according to New Line International, is 29% higher than the previous The Two Towers through the same period. »

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Boxoffice preview: Sony going 'Fish'-ing for a 'King'

9 January 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

As the first weekend of the 2004 boxoffice year looms, the question is whether New Line Cinema's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King will continue to reign as it has for the past three weekends. There is no question, though, that Peter Jackson's epic wrap-up to his J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy will cruise past the $300 million mark today. And heading into its fourth weekend, it's running about $30 million ahead of where its predecessor, The Two Towers, was at the same point in its life cycle. Towers dropped by 41% in its fourth weekend. A comparable decline for King, which took in $28.2 million last weekend, would mean that its upcoming boxoffice should amount to about $17 million. But that could still make it tough for a new contender to ascend to the throne. And if King performs more like the first film in the series, The Fellowship of the Ring, which fell only 30% in its fourth weekend, it could effectively lock out any challengers. The film with the best potential to rise to the occasion is Sony Pictures' Big Fish, director Tim Burton's PG-13 fable about a father-son reunion. Last weekend, playing in only 125 theaters, the film pulled in $2.5 million for a compelling per-theater average of $20,355. This weekend, it expands to 2,400 theaters. With its multigenerational cast including Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney and Billy Crudup, Fish is playing to a broad demographic and could find itself swimming in the $12 million-$15 million pool. »

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DVD hikes British video biz 30%

9 January 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

LONDON -- Britain's home entertainment industry leapt 30% in 2003 as consumers snapped up DVDs of such titles as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, according to figures released Thursday by the British Video Assn. Entertainment in Video's The Two Towers sold 3.8 million units to take the crown as the United Kingdom's top-selling title of 2003, but was closely followed by Chamber, which conjured up sales of 3.3 million units for Warner Home Video. BVA estimated that total video and DVD sales for the year were likely to top 200 million units once mail-order sales are taken into account. Reinforcing its position as the dominant home-entertainment format and the single-biggest driver of studio revenue, DVD took center stage with a 75% share -- 139 million units -- of the sector as VHS sales again declined, falling 19% to 60 million units. »

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Boxoffice booms into new year; 'King' champ of all 'Rings'

6 January 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

With holidays in many countries extending into early January, the overseas boxoffice continued to perk enjoyably, with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Finding Nemo continuing to pile up record totals in the international market. Return of the King commanded $390.4 million in 19 days, 29% better than 2002's year-end opening of The Two Towers ($301.8 million) and 68% more than 2001's The Fellowship of the Ring ($232.3 million). The weekend total for the final episode of the J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy came to $58.7 million from 8,826 screens in 45 territories. The Peter Jackson-directed phenomenon still has two key markets to go -- Italy on Jan. 23 and Japan on Feb. 14. »

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