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LOTRs Premiere Heats Up NZ Cinema Industry

New Zealand Cinema Industry Heats Up With Premiere Of The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

One month out, tickets go on sale today (Thursday 20 November 2003) for ‘the most anticipated movie of the year’ - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - at all Village SKYCITY Cinemas.

Advance public ticket sales from today are only available to Village SKYCITY’s Mega-Member database – a movie club which can be joined for free online at www.villageskycity.co.nz. Tickets to The Lord of the Rings:The Return of the King will be available to non Mega-Members one week later – from 27 November 2003.
To celebrate the launch of the movie, Village SKYCITY Cinemas will feature first public screenings from 12:01am on Thursday 18th December (one minute after midnight) to run throughout the morning and into the next day/night.

Exclusive to Queen Street, in Auckland, there will be extended versions of the first two movies to build the excitement as the launch for the new movie draws near. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – the extended version - will screen at the cinemas on Queen Street from 4 – 10 December and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers will screen from 11 – 16 December. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King will screen 24 hours non-stop at the central city location from one minute past midnight 18 December through to 21 December 2003.

For diehard fans, there will also be special Lord of the Rings movie marathon on Wednesday 17th December featuring all three of the movies back to back in sequence at Village SKYCITY Cinemas Queen Street where movie goers will be able to sit through an unprecedented nine and a half hours of cinema (with breaks in between each movie). Fans will begin by watching The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring from 3:20pm followed by The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers from 7:40pm which will lead in to The Lord of the Rings:The Return of the King which will screen just after midnight on 18 December - to screen at the same time as other Village SKYCITY Cinemas’ public movie screenings.

Those wanting to secure a place at the very first public screening can also purchase tickets from today to a special Charity Screening (on Thursday 17 December) at Village SKYCITY Cinemas Broadway Newmarket with part proceeds to the Starship Foundation. Tickets to the charity premiere cost $100 each and will include being among the first in New Zealand to see the movie, pre-movie hors d’oeuvres and drinks and the chance to go into a draw to win a replica of Strider’s sword, featuring Peter Jackson’s engraved signature. Guests to the charity premiere are invited to arrive at 5.15pm and the movie will begin at 6.30pm. Tickets are available at www.starship.org.nz or 09 3074957.

According to Village SKYCITY Cinemas Chief Executive, Joe Moodabe, the third instalment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy is anticipated to be even more popular than its predecessors.

“The advance word is that Peter Jackson has saved the best for last and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is tipped to surpass the The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in popularity. Both the original and the sequel are the most successful movie releases ever in New Zealand motion picture history ranking number one and number two of all movies to date,” he says.

Mr Moodabe says that along with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, this summer’s cinema product offerings are looking “fantastic.”

“It’s shaping up to be one of the best holiday season’s that we’ve ever seen featuring a couple of other movies with a New Zealand connection such as The Last Samurai (starring Tom Cruise which was filmed in Taranaki and opens 15 January 2004) and Master and Commander starring Kiwi born Russell Crowe (opening 1 January 2004).

“In addition to these is Disney’s animated hit Brother Bear (opening 26 December 2003), Spy Kids 3-D – revolutionising the 3-D movie experience for the whole family (opening 1 January 2004) and Something’s Gotta Give starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton (opening 8 January 2004).

“New Zealand’s next eagerly awaited film following those is Gaylene Preston’s Perfect Strangers starring Sam Neill opening at the end of January,” says Mr Moodabe.

As well as being first to purchase The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King tickets, Village SKYCITY Mega-Members receive a number of additional membership benefits including weekly entertainment news updates, exclusive screenings, special offers and giveaways.

For Village SKYCITY Cinemas movie information and ticket sales, phone your nearest cinema or 09 979 2400 (general info line).

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