Central film in LoTR takes $26 million domestically and $16 million internationally, breaking records in eight territories.

Film also receives 2 Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture and Best Director.

Los Angeles, CA, December 19, 2002

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers stormed the global box office on its first day in theaters taking an estimated $42 million (US dollars) worldwide — up almost 45% on last year’s day one takings of $29 million for FoTR.

Two Towers took $26 million in the USA alone, and an additional $16 million outside the US.

The film broke all single day records in Denmark, and opening day records in seven other international territories, New Line Cinema president Rolf Mittweg announced.

In the USA, the film surpassed the opening day receipts of its predecessor by 44% (last year, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring opened at $18 million).

Fans lined up as early as Tuesday night for sold-out midnight showings at 3,622 theaters across the US. Opening to critical acclaim, it has become the second highest Wednesday opener — only surpassed by 1999’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace at $28.5M).

Internationally, the film posted a $16 million gross, up 45% from last year (Fellowship bowed to an $11 million overall opening day internationally). The film is playing on nearly 12,000 screens worldwide, 6,633 screens domestic and 5,000 internationally.

“This powerful response … illustrates the true universality of Tolkien’s themes and the broad reach of Jackson’s vision,” Mittweg said.

“We’re astounded at these numbers. For a three-hour film that is central in a trilogy to open this way is energizing and tremendously exciting.”

Opening day-and-date in countries, the film broke all single day records in Denmark, and marked the highest opening day ever in Germany, Austria, Finland, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden and Norway. Further, the film posted increases from last year’s opening day of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in all territories, up as high as 98% in Belgium.

Country – Gross -Increase
Austria – 523K – 69%
Belgium – 300K – 98%
Denmark – 830K – 66%
Finland – 240K – 38%
France – 1.93M – 21%
Germany – 3.95M – 36%
Greece – 218K – 51%
Holland – 350K – 85%
Norway – 790K – 65%
South Africa – 156K – 39%
Spain – 1.08M – 40%
Sweden – 950K – 38%
Switzerland – 350K – 63%
UK – 3.9M – 28%

The film open in six more countries (including New Zealand, South Korea) on Thursday, and another six on Friday (including Mexico).