Movie Article

Many Happy Returns

''Return of the King'' tops 2004 video sales. The Best Picture Oscar winner sells 6.3 million copies its first week

Here's what's not on the ''Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'' video: Gandalf's final face-off with Saruman, Faramir's romance with Eowyn, and Aragorn's confrontation with the Mouth of Sauron at the Black Gate of Mordor. As ''Rings'' fans know, the longer cuts of the movies, with scenes left out of the theatrical cuts, make their way to home video toward the end of the year. Still, that didn't stop the theatrical version of ''Return of the King'' from becoming the year's top-seller so far on video when it was released last week. While New Line declined to release sales figures, The Hollywood Reporter cited estimates from industry sources that the Best Picture Oscar winner sold 6.3 million copies on DVD and VHS in the week following its release on May 25. Video Store magazine estimates that the movie generated $9.79 million in rentals as well. The two-disc set includes background material and various featurettes but no commentary tracks or deleted scenes. ''Rings'' insiders told EW that the deleted scenes mentioned above, as well as others (Gandalf vs. the Lord of the Nazgul, Aragorn revealing himself to Sauron via the palantir) totaling 49 minutes, will be included on the four-disc (!) edition of ''Return'' due this fall.

Originally posted Jun 03, 2004
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