Rated for inflation, the Lord of the Rings series was the highest grossing trilogy of all time, even overtaking the original 1980s Star Wars trilogy and the renown The Godfather trilogy. That isn’t even including The Hobbit trilogy, which earned about the same amount worldwide, not accounting for inflation.
It might be true that Peter Jackson, the director of both Lord of the Rings trilogies, in part rode on the tail of the famous series; but this wasn’t the only reason for the Lord of the Rings success. One factor was that the budget was astronomically high, at almost $300 million for the Lord of the Rings and almost three-quarters of a billion dollars for The Hobbit trilogy.
Additionally the acting was beyond stellar, with The Return of the King tied with the 1959 version of Ben-Hur and Titanic for the most Academy Awards ever given for a single film, having won eleven Oscars! Also, with such a high budget, there was nothing holding back the CGI, special effects, costumes, music, and editing from being as great as money can buy.
It’s not often that a movie based on a book truly takes its place in history contending with the book version, and some might argue being even better than the book in some ways. It’s also not often that a movie has a budget grand enough to take a masterful fantasy world and turn it into a true, fully believable, cinematic reality. However, this is what occurred with the Lord of the Ring series. Many would support the statement that the movie truly captured the essence of the book, which in itself was a grand masterpiece.
The Lord of the Rings trilogies may have taken in more money than almost every person on the planet will ever see in their lifetime, but unlike some other high-grossing films like Avatar which were mostly earned by hype and clever marketing, The Lord of the Rings series are truly masterpieces, building a timeless epic fantasy that will live on for perhaps centuries to come.
Below are the box office charts gathered from wikipedia.
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Box Office Performance
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||Box office ranking||Budget|
|North America||Other territories||Worldwide||All time
|The Fellowship of the Ring||Dec 11, 2001||$315,544,750||$555,985,574||$871,530,324||#32, #76(A)||#18||$200 million|
|The Two Towers||Dec 12, 2002||$342,551,365||$583,495,746||$926,047,111||#22, #61(A)||#24||$225 million|
|The Return of the King||Dec 13, 2003||$377,845,905||$742,083,616||$1,119,929,521||#17, #52(A)||#26||$250 million|
|Average||$345.3 million||$627.2 million||$972.5 million||–||–||$248 million|
|List indicator(s): (A) indicates the adjusted ranks based on current ticket prices (calculated by Box Office Mojo).|
The Hobbit Trilogy Box Office Performance
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||Box office ranking||Budget||Reference|
|North America||Other territories||Worldwide|
|An Unexpected Journey||Dec 12, 2012||$303,003,568||$714,000,000||$1,017,003,568||#18||$200 million|||
|The Desolation of Smaug||Dec 13, 2013||$258,366,855||$702,000,000||$960,366,855||#24||$225 million|||
|The Battle of the Five Armies||Dec 17, 2014||$254,967,930||$700,000,000||$954,967,930||#26||$250 million|||
|Total||$816,338,353||$2,116,000,000||$2,932,338,353||–||c. $745 million|||
|Average||$272.1 million||$705.3 million||$977.4 million||–|||
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