Die-hard fans with no more Lord of the Rings sequels to camp out for can drag their sleeping bags over to the video store for the earlier-than-expected May 25 release of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on DVD and VHS.
Striking while the iron is hot, New Line appears to be aiming to capitalize on the 11 Oscars the film won at the Academy Awards just a week ago. While the multi-billion dollar franchise needs no help in the marketing department, the wins for Best Picture and Best Director are likely to spark the interest of even renters and buyers who have avoided the saga thus far. Home video releases for The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers didn’t bow until August following their winter theatrical debuts.
As with other video products associated with the trilogy, there will be more than one edition issued. The May 25 release will contain only the three-hour-and-20-minute theatrical version and yet unspecified bonus material. Fans who want to spend more than eleven hours in Middle-earth can wait for the three extended cuts to come out around the holidays.