Back in August we reported that the current cut stood at 3 hours and 14 minuntes. Now Kevin writes that a private theater here in Austin, Texas has posted a running time for the Two Towers of 2 hours and 43 minutes.

Update: Aaron writes that Fandango also has 2 hours 43 minutes listed as the running time. [More]

Update2:FB however writes that according to the Norwegian Oslo Cinema, 2 hours 43 mins was the old running time and that 3 hours 10 minutes is what we should expect. Unfortunately, I’m not much chop at reading Norwegian, but you can see the numbers here.

Staale sent in this translation:

‘You mentioned that you are no great hand at reading Norwegian. Well, here is my translation of the text.

“The supposed length for The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers has until now been 2 hours 43 minutes. However, director Peter Jackson has found reason to add close to half an hour extra.

Early this summer Jackson and his staff went back to New Zealand to shoot some additional scenes for TTT. The postproduction on the new takes and the substantial special effects work have since been going on at full steam. The distributor SF Norway claims that the finished movie will probably be about 3 hours 10 minutes long. That is, 10 minutes longer than the Fellowship of the Ring.”

Just for your information :)’

Thanks to Ur_Friendly_Hobbit_Baker who also sent in a rough translation for us.

More grist to the mill … consider Jackson’s recent words in Fangoria Magazine:

One thing The Two Towers will share with Fellowship is a running time of about three hours. “I have never had any edicts from the studio to cut anything,” Jackson says.

“There was a pragmatism with the cutting of Fellowship, and even in a sense with The Two Towers. These are rare expensive movies, and you do want to get the biggest audience you can, and we thought we were taking enough of a risk with a three-hour film. We knew the studio was riding on it, and we knew they wanted something between two and two and a half hours, which would be much more commercially smart. They didn’t force us to cut a two-and-a-half-hour film, though, and we felt ourselves that anything over three hours would be much more difficult to attract an audience to.

“We just couldn’t afford for the box office of Fellowship to suffer because of the length,” he continues. “No matter how good or enjoyable a film is, at three and a half hours you’d simply put people off. It’s as simple as that. So our focus was on releasing a film that was under three hours. We worked very hard to get that cut, and The Two Towers has actually been the same. At one point, Two Towers was almost four hours long, and we’ve been working hard to get it under three. These are sensible cuts, though — it’s not a case of the studio forcing the filmmaker. In this case, the filmmaker doesn’t want to release a film over three hours, because it’s not a smart thing to do with all this money at stake.”

That’s it. For what it’s worth, my money is on two and three-quarter hours. Anyone running a tote?