WITH A RECORD BREAKING ACADEMY AWARDS® SWEEP THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING MAKES ITS DVD DEBUT ON MAY 25
Two-Disc Theatrical Version of the Award-Winning Conclusion to THE LORD OF THE RINGS Trilogy Takes Home Video Bow
Prior to the Planned Holiday 2004 Release of Special Extended Edition
LOS ANGELES, CA (March 8, 2004) The King makes his return in filmmaker Peter Jacksons stunning conclusion to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, arriving on DVD and VHS on May 25, 2004. The home video debut of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King will follow the groundbreaking success of the multi-tiered platform releases of both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, and will be available on a two-disc DVD and VHS for $29.95 and $24.97, respectively. A special extended edition of The Return of the King will follow as planned in time for the holidays.
Based on J.R.R. Tolkiens epic adventure of good versus evil, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King will be released separately in both widescreen and fullscreen versions, each including a second disc offering hours of additional content. Disc Two will feature behind-the-scenes specials, featurettes, theatrical trailers, TV spots, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy supertrailer, a preview of the upcoming The Lord of the Rings based video game from Electronic Arts and a link to exclusive online content about the motion picture trilogy.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the crowning glory of a truly unparalleled filmmaking achievement, said Stephen Einhorn, president and chief operating officer of New Line Home Entertainment. The two-DVD edition includes the award-winning theatrical epic as well as hours of behind-the-scenes bonus materials.
With current domestic and worldwide box office receipts at more than $364.1 million and $1 billion and rising, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the most successful box office film of the trilogy. Arriving on 7,205 North American screens and 7,403 screens in 28 territories internationally on December 17, 2003, The Return of the King set numerous box office records, achieving the all-time biggest openings in the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Scandinavia, Spain, Switzerland and New Zealand. A global phenomenon, The Return of the King smashed the international five-day box office record, earning more than $250 million during its opening weekend. The film, moreover, currently ranks as the second highest-grossing worldwide theatrical release of all time, becoming the second film ever to earn more than $1 billion and the first to hit this mark in only ten weeks.
Domestically, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King set box office records for the biggest December opening ($72.6 million, Friday-Sunday) and the highest Wednesday opening ($34.5 million) of all time. In addition, it took in $100 million in just four days, $200 million in 11 days and broke the $300 million barrier in just 24 days. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King currently ranks sixth on the list of all-time biggest domestic motion picture box office hits.
After appearing on over 270 national critics year-end top ten lists occupying the number one spot on nearly 100 of them, including Time, Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal and New York Daily News The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King swept the 76th Annual Academy Awards®, winning every one of the 11 categories in which it was nominated:
- Best Picture, Peter Jackson, Barrie M. Osborne and Fran Walsh, Producers
- Director, Peter Jackson
- Adapted Screenplay, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson
- Costume Design, Ngila Dickson and Richard Taylor
- Art Direction, Grant Major (Art Direction); Dan Hennah and Alan Lee (Set Decoration)
- Film Editing, Jamie Selkirk
- Original Score, Howard Shore
- Original Song, Into The West, Music and Lyrics by Fran Walsh,
- Howard Shore, and Annie Lennox; Performed By Annie Lennox
- Makeup, Richard Taylor and Peter King
- Visual Effects, Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook, and Alex Funke
- Sound Mixing, Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek
In January, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was honored with four Golden Globe Awards from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, also winning each category in which it was nominated:
- Best Picture (Drama), Peter Jackson, Barrie M. Osborne and Fran Walsh, Producers
- Director, Peter Jackson
- Original Score, Howard Shore
- Original Song, Into The West, Music and Lyrics by Fran Walsh, Howard Shore and Annie Lennox
The Return of the King also enjoyed recognition from many additional awards organizations and guilds, including Best Picture of the Year from the Producers Guild of America, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Washington D.C. Film Critics, the Southeastern Film Critics Association and the Ninth Annual Critics Choice Awards. The Critics Choice Awards also honored The Return of the King with awards for Best Director, Ensemble Cast and Original Score (Howard Shore). Peter Jackson was named Best Director by the Directors Guild of America, San Francisco Film Critics Circle, Toronto Film Critics Association, Washington, D.C. Film Critics, San Diego Film Critics, and the Southeastern Film Critics Association; and the Screen Actors Guild and The National Board of Review honored the film with the award for Best Acting by an Ensemble. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King also received four awards from the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA), including Best Film.