In a move that enshrines thenotion of a global market, New Line is to stage a series of world premieres forThe Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers. The eagerly awaited second instalment in Peter Jackson'sadaptation of JRR Tolkien's trilogy will make its North American bow inNew York on Dec 5, followed by the European premiere in Paris on Dec 10 and theUK premiere in London on Dec 11. It will premiere in Los Angeles on Dec 15 andon the same day in Copenhagen with the Queen of Denmark in attendance. Therewill also be a special screening in Seattle on Dec 16. The fantasy picture getsits premiere in New Zealand, where the trilogy was shot back to back, inWellington on Dec 18 and Sydney, Australia, on Dec 19.

"The opening of thisfilm has truly become a global event because The Lord of the Rings has been embraced by so many differentcultures," Rolf Mittweg, New Line Cinema's president and chief operatingofficer of worldwide distribution and marketing, said in a statement. "Thefirst film has shipped 35 million DVD and VHS units worldwide, a testament tothe popularity of the trilogy and how widely the fan base has broadened.Multiple premieres of The Two Towers around the globe are a fun and appropriate way to celebrate both theuniversality of Tolkien's themes and the excitement and anticipation that isbuilding among moviegoers."

The picture is scheduled toopen in most major markets on Dec 18, with international roll-outs continuingthrough to early 2003. Much anticipation surrounds its box office prospectsafter The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, which opened on Dec 19 last year and went on tomake $860 million at the worldwide box office. It received 13 Oscar nominationsand won four.