The Lord of the Rings:
The Fellowship of the Ring

Release Date: December 19, 2001

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

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357 million site hits in three months. A trailer downloaded 1.7 million times in its first 24 hours of release. If these two data points aren't a strong enough indicator for the astounding box office potential of Lord of the Rings, there's also the fact that the books have sold 100 million copies worldwide (and that's just a best estimate, since the age of the books makes past sales difficult to determine).

Up until now, a live-action version of this story would likely have been a joke, and an animated version from 1978 is largely forgotten today. All indications do point to extreme care being put toward the details that the more rabid fans of the books find important (check out the behind-the-scenes clips on the official Web site if you don't believe me). Although I've been generally unimpressed with the trailers thus far, the general consensus of fans seems to be a feeling of pure adoration.

LOTR doesn't particularly boast any special star power, but that really doesn't matter. It's all about the effects and making the story come to life. Reports from a preview screening at Cannes tell us that people can't wait to see more, and I would expect to see people camping outside their theaters much as we did when Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace premiered...

Or I would if the opening date wasn't in late December, which brings up another interesting point. The highest December opener to date (even allowing for inflation) has been Cast Away, with a take of $39.85 million. LOTR opens the Wednesday before Christmas, and while I foresee fans of the books turning out in force during its first two days of release, it's the weekend business that is somewhat more difficult to predict until the marketing machine truly kicks into high gear and we see if the film is targeted more as a fanboy extravaganza or a holiday family event. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Main Cast Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen, Christopher Lee
Supporting Cast Orlando Bloom, Viggo Mortensen, Ian Holm, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Liv Tyler
Director Peter Jackson
Screenwriter Frances Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Distributor Warner Bros.
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Running Time 178 minutes
Screen Count 3,359
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 11/16/0190.29 96.36 3672 24590.00 25242.8 317.56 338.93 3.52
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 11/15/0288.36 91.86 3682 23997.00 23997.0 261.99 272.39 2.97
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones 5/17/0280.03 83.20 3161 25317.00 25317.0 310.67 323.00 3.51
Lost World, The 5/23/9772.13 94.75 3281 21984.00 27779.3 229.09 300.95 2.51
Mummy Returns, The 5/4/0168.14 72.72 3401 20035.00 20566.9 202.01 215.60 2.96
Star Wars: Episode I -The Phantom Menace 5/21/9964.81 77.23 2970 21822.00 24914.9 431.07 513.70 6.01
Pearl Harbor 5/25/0159.08 63.05 3214 18382.00 18870.0 198.54 211.90 3.36
Star Wars: SE 1/31/9735.91 47.17 2104 17067.00 21566.1 138.21 181.56 3.85
What Women Want 12/15/0033.61 37.59 3012 11159.00 12007.8 182.81 204.50 5.44
Cast Away 12/22/0028.88 32.30 2774 10411.00 11202.9 233.63 261.36 5.86



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