‘Air’ and ‘Renfield’ Were Outgrossed Thursday by ‘The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King’

A Thursday night Fathom Events screening of "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" took #2 with $1.1 million, against films that held thousands more theaters.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, Ian McKellen, 2003, (c) New Line/courtesy Everett Collection
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
©New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection

With the help of Fathom Events and about 1,100 theaters, Middle Earth rises again.

Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King,” which will see its 20th anniversary in December, grossed approximately $1.2 million Thursday night. Per sources, that placed it #2 for the day (behind “The Super Mario Bros. Movie”) — even against films playing 3,000 or more theaters.

By comparison, Amazon’s “Air” (MGM) reported $982,598 for the day in 3,507 locations. “Renfield,” a horror comedy starring Nicolas Cage as Dracula, grossed $900,000 in previews in 2,750 theaters. “The Pope’s Exorcist,” also previewing, did $850,000 in 2,650.

The final installment in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy won 12 Oscars, including Best Picture, at the 2004 Academy Awards. However, this film is an extended version previously unseen in theaters and includes an introduction by co-star Elijah Wood.

Special showings of older films are a Fathom staple, but this one-day figure is a standout — and many theaters will have repeat showings over the next week. To date, the domestic box-0ffice gross for “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” totals over $600 million.

Fathom Events also found a hit this week with additional showings of the faith-based documentary “Come Out in Jesus Name,” Monday and Tuesday screenings added over $1.5 million in 978 theaters. Including March dates, that brings the total to $2.5 million. The film tells the story of Greg Locke, a pastor who claims to cast out demons, and his gang of fellow demon-slaying preachers.

“The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” was initially financed and distributed by New Line Cinema. It’s now handled by New Line parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.

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