By Dana Harris
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) – New Line Cinema has partnered with movie theater owners to begin advance domestic ticket sales on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Friday, four weeks ahead of the film’s Dec. 18 North American release.
Ticket sales began two weeks in advance for last year’s release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. That picture broke presale records, with online sales ultimately representing more than 8% of the film’s domestic opening weekend. The film grossed $860 million worldwide.
The Two Towers will debut in multiple premiere showings around the world, with a North American bow in New York on Dec. 5 and in Toronto, Canada, Dec. 6, followed by Paris Dec. 10 and in London Dec. 11.
On Dec. 15, the film will premiere in Los Angeles and in Copenhagen, with the Queen of Denmark in attendance. A special screening in Seattle follows Dec. 16.
The film premieres in New Zealand, where The Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot, in Wellington on Dec. 18, and in Sydney, Australia on Dec. 19.
Already, hundreds of Scandinavians braved up to three weeks of waiting in below-freezing weather to buy tickets. Scandinavian sales on “Two Towers” topped 140,000 in the first day, four times the day-one presales for “The Fellowship of the Ring.”
The first film has shipped 35 million DVD and VHS units worldwide.