Hollywood Reporter
December 21, 2001

Records, Sellouts Mark First Day of Rings Saga
Hy Hollinger

The midweek, day-and-date, virtually global opening of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings" is giving off "fantastic" vibes, New Line International president Camela Galano said late Wednesday afternoon after a busy day of monitoring early, incomplete results from countries worldwide. An estimated boxoffice gross of about $11.6 million in a single day was achieved from 13 countries outside the United States that reported by late Wednesday, Galano indicated. Domestically, the anecdotal evidence was equally upbeat. Midnight shows around the country that began at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday sold out. After a midnight screening hosted by one of the film's stars, Ian McKellan, sold out at Loews' Imax Theater in New York, a second early-morning show was quickly added. Preliminary estimates put the movie's likely domestic boxoffice take for its first five days in the $60 million-$70 million range.

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