Irish Independent – Monday, 5 August 2002

Fantasy epic ‘Lord of the Rings’ could outstrip the success of Harry Potter when it is released on video and DVD this week. Tens of thousands of peole have already ordered copies of the film which goes on sale tomorrow. ‘Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ was a box office smash when it was released in cinemas last year. Now it is being tipped by many to outsell the video and DVD versions of wizard saga ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’.

A spokesman for HMV said that pre-orders for the film had already broken records in its stores. “This is the biggest number of pre-orders we have ever had for any film. Harry Potter was a family movie but it didn’t have the same collectible feel to it. Because ‘Lord of the Rings’ is a family film it has more of a cult following”, he said.

To mark the launch, HMV have hired people to dress up as hobbits and entertain customers in selected stores. More than 34,000 fans have oredered the film from online retailer Amazon. It is the first in a trilogy based on RR Tolkien’s classic books with a total budget of €296m. Extras included on the DVD include behind-the-scenes footage and a sneak preview of the second film, “The Twin Towers” (And I thought for once the Irish Independent was going to write a piece about LotR without a blunder… – S) which is due out at the end of the year.