2004 has been a remarkable year for Lord of the Rings and Tolkien in general, it began with an award season no one will forget, and it ended with a DVD release to end all releases. Take a look as we run down the highlights of 2004 in Tolkien.

Golden Globes 2004  ImagesMore Golden Globes 2004  Images

10. Those Golden Globes – January 25th, 2004

As a precursor to the Academy Awards the Golden Globes have always been the litmus test that tells us how Hollywood is going to choose a Best Picture and Best Director. This year was no different as ‘The Return of the King’ dominated the January 25th, 2004 awards ceremony.

First Howard Shore wins for “Best Original Score”, he was there to receive the award and thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press, he said it was a great honor for him to work on the film. Immediately following this ROTK wins for “Best Original Song”, Fran Walsh and Howard Shore both accept this award (Howard had to run back from behind the stage after just winning for best Score). Fran Walsh dedicated this award to Kiwi-filmmaker Cameron Duncan, who passed away before ROTK was completed. Peter Jackson then won for “Best Director”, he stood up and gave Fran Walsh a loving kiss on the lips, hugged Producer Bob Shaye, and also thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press, he thanked Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, as well as Mark Ordesky. He said he felt supported all the way by New Line. He also thanked all the cast and crew, and he said he loved every single day he worked on the set. Completing the sweep of awards ROTK then won “Best Dramatic Picture”. Accepting the award was Peter Jackson, along with Bob Shaye, Michael Lynne, Fran Walsh, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett and others. The stage was full and many people were cheering. Philippa Boyens, Dominic Monaghan, John Rhys-Davies was also spotted on stage. Peter Jackson thanked Tolkien and Saul Zaentz. It was a quick speech due to the time limits of the show.

PJ at the DGA's

9. Peter Jackson wins Directors Guild of America Award – February 8th, 2004

At the 56th Annual DGA Awards the greatest film and TV directors gathered to honor their very best. The 2003 Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement for a Feature Film was given to Peter Jackson for ROTK. With great warmth and humility, PJ accepted the award by thanking J.R.R. Tolkien, saying “the book honors the ideas of courage, friendship, and faith.”

8. ROTK Makes $1 Billion Dollars – February 23rd, 2004

‘The Return of the King,’ has become the second movie ever to break the $1 billion box-office mark worldwide, distributor New Line Cinema reported on Monday, February 23rd, 2004. The conclusion to director Peter Jackson’s fantasy trilogy, based on the books of J.R.R. Tolkien, now ranks as the second-highest-grossing film of all time after the 1997 sea-going romance “Titanic,” which cruised to $1.8 billion in global receipts. Through the weekend of February 20th, “Return of the King” had accumulated a worldwide total of $1,005,380,412 in ticket sales, New Line said. More than $361 million of that sum was generated at U.S. and Canadian box office.

7. Oscar Night – February 29th, 2004

It seemed fitting that such a magical night that was Oscar Night 2004 took place on a day that doesn’t normally exist. As if by magic the love of these movies by the fans conjured up the entire evening, the nominations, the wins, the CLEAN SWEEP by the entire cast and crew of Lord of the Rings. Winning 11 out of 11 awards for the night, it seemed almost too good to be true. As each category was announced you could hear a pin drop in a room filled with 300 people, as the LOTR crew took to the stage to accept their awards the massive loudspeakers were no match to the cheers by the crowd at The Return of the One Party, barely a stones throw away from the Oscars themselves. Which leads us to number 6 on our list.

6. The Return of the One Party – February 29th, 2004

What can be said about this amazing evening that hasn’t already been reported? This will be a night I will NEVER forget, follow these links for some amazing photos and stories.

5. New Line Cinema Talks ‘The Hobbit’ – April 16th, 2004

On April 16th, 2004 co-CEO/co-Chairman of New Line Cinema, Robert Shaye, sent an official response to the LET THE HOBBIT HAPPEN campaign. Take a moment and be encouraged by the first official statement from New Line Cinema on the making of The Hobbit!

Dear Loyal LOTR Fans,

Thank you very, very much for the incredible outpouring of support for LOTR, and your eagerness to see THE HOBBIT.

We, at New Line, are most touched and appreciative of your compliments, and your passion for the remarkable work of the author, the filmmakers, talent, and craftspeople.

We are also, as you, most anxious to see THE HOBBIT realized… [More]

4. ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ Turns 50 – July 29th, 2004

On July 29, 1954 publisher George Allen & Unwin published the first edition of The Fellowship of the Ring in Great Britain, an edition of 3,500 copies. An American edition from Houghton-Mifflin followed in October, 1954. On behalf of the staff and readers of TheOneRing.net, from fans world wide, from all those lives that have been touched by this work we celebrate this remarkable book that only improves with age. Happy Golden Anniversary!

3. ‘The Two Towers’ Turns 50 – November 11th, 2004

On November 11th, 1954 publisher George Allen & Unwin published the first edition of The Two Towers in Great Britain. This continuation of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ story has been lauded as the best of the 3 books in some circles.

2. ‘Ringers: Lord of the Fans’ to premiere at Slamdance – December 13th, 2004

The Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, will launch its 2005 slate with the world premiere of RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS on its opening Friday night (January 21, 2005). The producers also announce the final addition to their remarkable project, the voice of Dominic Monaghan (Merry Brandybuck from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, now starring on ABC’s Lost) will be heard as the film’s Narrator, relaying the dynamic story of J.R.R. Tolkien’s pop-culture legacy. [More]

1. ‘Return of the King: Extended Edition’ Released on DVD – December 14th, 2004

The final installment of Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy is released on DVD. This ‘extended edition’ features 51 minutes of new footage as well as hundreds of new special effects shots. The DVD is packed with hours of behind the scenes footage and ‘making-of’ documentaries. A complete, 15 disk Trilogy box set is also released on this day, culminating over 10 years of work for Peter Jackson and his crew.

Hundreds of Tolkien fans send along images of themselves with their own copy of the DVDs, and their entire LOTR collection. This yearly ritual began with the ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ DVDs and has collected thousands of images of fans. [More]