Movie Flashback: 9 Years Ago Today the King Returned Home
12.17.12 by Chris
Give me your hand. Take my hand. Don't you let go. Don't let go.
Over the weekend, audiences helped The Hobbit have the best December opening of all time ($84 million), but nine years ago today fans got the epic conclusion to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, Return of the King.
Unlike most final chapters of epic trilogies, Return of the King is highly regarded as the best of the series. And it was able to do something no other fantasy movie has ever done — win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. To add to that, it's also only the second sequel to win that award (after Godfather Part II). The movie was nominated and won 10 additional Oscars, tying it with Titanic and Ben-Hur for the most wins.
Return of the King also became the highest-grossing of the three LOTR movies, earning $1.1 billion worldwide, making it the sixth highest-grossing movie of all time.
At the time when New Line took a chance on Jackson (who then only had a handful of movies under his belt) filming all three movies back-to-back-to-back, it was arguably the biggest risk in movie history but the it paid off handsomely for the studio. With a nearly $600 million budget for the Hobbit trilogy, we'll have to wait and see if the studio will get lucky again.
— The Fellowship of the Ring had 540 CGI effects, The Two Towers had 799, and Return on the King had 1,488.
— Jackson was so behind schedule in post production that the final reel of the movie was done only five days before the world premiere. Jackson actually didn't see the final cut until the premiere.
Where to watch: Return of the King is available on DVD and Blu-ray, and streaming on Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu.