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"Lord of the Rings" in numbers: USD80,000 for coffee and 200,000 virtual actors

Only 16,000 dollars paid to Tolkien' successors and already nearly 3,000,000,000 dollars earned.

The last picture of “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Return of the King” was premiered few days ago in Wellington, capital of New Zealand. The film will probably repeat the “Titanic” achievement of USD1bln revenues.

The second film, “The Two Towers” had wider commercial success than the original movie: 920mnl against 860mln. It should be that the last one will lead the three. The films are as popular as “Harry Potter” movies, which gathered around 1,8bln, and 500mln ahead of “Matrix”. The director Peter Jackson even has a chance to combat “The Star Wars” (USD3,8bln).

A premier in Wellington was against marketing logic, specialists say. However it was a sign of respect from New Line Cinema company to Peter Jackson, who wanted so much to premier a film in his native New Zealand.

The coming premiers in Berlin, London, New York and Los Angeles will be secondary, but it should not affect the film’s popularity. In the Great Britain all stars are expected: sir Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Blum, Kate Blanchett. 


Currently the two “Lord of the Rings” through the sales of tickets, VHS and DVD earned around 3bln dollars (official results are not yet publicized). The New Zealand production decreased expenses. New Line Cinema took a certain risk when decided to do the first two films: should they fail, the studio would have most probably seize existing.

Lord of the Rings in numbers:

  • USD 1,800,000,000 the overall tickets revenue of the first 2 movies
  • 200,000 virtual ‘actors’ used in battle scenes
  • 12,500,000 chains made for the chain armor by the costume designers, who lost some fingerprints in this 3 year work
  • USD 80,000 was spent on coffee by the members of the team
  • 26,000 people screened in mass scenes
  • USD 16,000 paid to the Tolkien’s successors for the copyrights
  • 40,933 letters were sent by fans demanding to return the cut-outs featuring Christopher Lee (Saruman)
  • 1,600,000 times the film trailers were loaded from internet daily

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