It is finally here. The third installment of arguably one of the most famous and profitable movie trilogies of all time will come to theaters on Wednesday, Dec. 17 -“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”
There is a certain stigma attached to the Rings’ movies, like there is to the Star Wars and Harry Potter movies. Fans dress up like characters and line up outside of the theater hours before the first screening starts. Action-figures of the characters are snatched up the minute they hit shelves and it has been immortalized in collector’s cards, video games and thousands of websites.
There is one aspect that sets the Rings’ trilogy apart from fantasy films like Star Wars and Harry Potter-all three were filmed simultaneously over a period of two years in New Zealand, beginning in 1998. “Fellowship of the Ring” was released in December 2001, followed by “The Two Towers” in December 2002 and now “Return of the King” in December 2003.
The plan to release the movies over a period of three years proved to be a successful one. “Fellowship of the Ring” grossed $860,200,000 worldwide and “The Two Towers” grossed $916,600,000 worldwide. “The Return of the King” is expected to be the most moneymaking of the trilogy.
The lure of the Ring happened decades before the movies were released. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the first installment to the Middle Earth series, “the Hobbit,” in 1936 and the phenomenon kicked-off from there. The Middle Earth books were especially big in the 60s and 70s, with many musicians, artists and poets getting their inspiration from Tolkien’s books.
The most famous example of the popular culture of the books is Led Zeppelin and the band’s tribute to the Ring. The 70s rock band wrote an entire song, “The Battle of Evermore,” dedicated to the final War of the Ring. The obsession has now been carried over to the movies, thanks to director Peter Jackson.
Missed the first two installments? That’s OK-New Line Cinemas is re-releasing “Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Two Towers” in theaters on Tuesday, Dec. 16, just in time for moviegoers to refresh their memories for “the Return of the King.”
Posted to the web by Marisa Gallelli