November 26, 2001
Lord Rings Up Big
Denmark, Sweden and Norway have received 200,000 advance ticket orders for Fellowship - a number that accounts for a little more than 1 percent of the countries' total population.
Swedish Fellowship tickets went on sale only Monday - much to the relief of the fans who had been waiting in line for as long as five days in temperatures that dipped below the freezing point.
"We had people going out with hot coffee and hamburgers for people standing in line," said Rasmus Ramstead, president and CEO of the pic's Swedish distributor, Svensk Films.
"Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was the last time people queued up outside theaters, but it's never been anything like this."
Tickets were also available via the Internet, but the system went down when it was overwhelmed by online requests.
Denmark has been selling tickets since October 18; Norway's tickets went on sale November 5.
The picture enters release worldwide December 19, outside of Japan and Italy.
Tickets also went on sale Tuesday in the UK, where Fellowship received a PG certificate, boosting its local box office prospects. The picture was initially expected to get a 12 rating, preventing kids under that age from seeing it.
The advisory parental guidance rating throws it open to the entire kid audience, significantly improving its chance of rivaling the record-breaking figures being posted by Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (as the film is titled in Blighty), which is also rated PG.
The Fellowship PG comes with an advisory note that the picture features "battle violence and fantasy horror" and "may not be suitable for under 8s."
The running time was also confirmed at 2 hours and 58 minutes, some 15 minutes longer than exhibitors expected.