NewsWire: An empire feeds a hunger for fantasy - International Herald Tribune

An empire feeds a hunger for fantasy
By A.O. Scott
The New York Times - June 20, 2002

The two most lucrative movies so far this summer concern the perilous adventures of male teenagers, one in contemporary New York and the other long ago in a galaxy far away, struggling with the moral and physical burdens of their special powers. Over the winter, the box office was dominated by two rather similar young men, one at an English boarding school, the other in the meticulously mapped Anglo-Saxon dreamworld of Middle Earth. Together, these four movies, "Spider-Man," 'Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones," "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," have earned more than $1 billion in ticket sales in the United States.

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