Saturday, February 09, 2002
Russian FOTR premiere - Xoanon @ 13:21 PST
The LotR:FotR movie was finally released in Russia on

There were celebrations in several best movie theaters in Moscow and other cities: costume shows, concerts, trivia games with prizes etc.

I went to the main premiere in the theater "Pushkinskii", and it was a riot! LotR soundtrek was blaring from the laud speakers all over central streets of Moscow, there was a street show with sword fighters and couple of burning Nazgul (done with stuntmen), there was a huge happy crowd with tickets, hunted by an also huge crowd of those without tickets, but who hoped for the spare one. There were big lines for tickets for the next shows.

A funny detail: there was a small meeting of the hard-core communists with red flags and slogans in about 50 meters from the theater. They were pretty annoyed that LotR drew all the attention from themselves, and some were grumbling about "this satanist music" etc. Well, guys, you just have to pick a better time and place next time :)

All the 2600 places in the theater were packed full, and response of the audience to the movie was incredible. I've never seen anything like this! Audience gave applause in the right places, cheered in the right places, went silent in the right places, and the end of the movie was greeted almost with standing ovation!

There were a lot of tolkien fans, and some of them who met through our site Henneth Annun, in the audience, and it was like meeting a family and being on a family celebration. But most of the audience were various important people, including, as I was told, a lot of people from the administration of President V.Putin. So such a warm and emotional reaction to the movie was a bit of surprise.

I also have the first box office results: the movie had a biggest grossing opening ever in Moscow, beating the previous record held by Mummy (of all things!) It grossed about 88000$ on Thursday. Some theaters with more the one screen even had to cancel the shows which were going in parallel with LotR, because everybody wanted only LotR :)

The results from the rest of the country for Thursday-Sunday will be available on Monday, Feb.12th.

LotR movie was released on 79 screens in Russia (17 in Moscow, I think), so don't expect huge b.o. numbers from us. But LotR can still break some internal records and add in couple of mln dollars to the tally.

There's a link to the article in English about Moscow premiere: Tolkien Fans prepare to rush Moscow cinemas.

It mentioned that ticket prices may be too high for the lot of fans, and I'm proud to say that Henneth Annun did something in that direction: we organized a program where students could distribute LotR movie ads and posters in exchange for free movie tickets, and we also were in coordination with some theaters so that they would admit fans in middle-earth costumes for free :)

I'll send more box office and pictures later.