Early estimates for key European territories on New Line Cinema's The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King show the expected rise against the previous instalment has been borne out.

In Germany an estimated $4.3m (Euro 3.5m) from 916 screens was taken on the film's first day, approximately 9.5% up on last year's $3.95m taken by Two Towers first day last year.

In the UK early estimated figures suggest the film has taken $5.25m (£3m) from 487 sites, up 20% on Two Towers £2.5m opening day on Dec 18, 2002.

Meanwhile Spain's 717 screens have netted an estimated $1.7m (Euro 1.4m), some 57% more than Two Towers $1.08m opening.

Distributor A-Film in The Netherlands reported that Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King broke records with an opening day haul of 75,000 admissions and an approximate gross of Euros 500,000. It comfortably passed the previous record mark set by Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers which achieved Euros 354,000 on its opening day. The Return Of The King is being put out on a massive 188 screens in the Netherlands.