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  Fans worldwide rush to Lord of the Rings
Updated 19 December 2001, 10.27
German fans of the film
German Lord of the rings fans all dressed up

Fans all over the world of The Lord of the Rings have been queuing and partying to celebrate the release of the first film in the trilogy, the Fellowship of the Ring.

It's predicted that the first Rings movie will outsell wizard wonder Harry Potter, which is currently the biggest selling UK film this year.

Dressed up fans

German Lord of the Rings fans
In America, fans stood in line desperate to see the film first, some even dressed as characters from the film as they waited for cinemas to open.

One American high school student was so eager to see it he waited for a showing at just one minute past midnight, even though he had to be back at school at 8am!

Midnight showings for eager fans

Three other screens at the cinema in Cleveland, Ohio, also showed the film just after midnight, the earliest the film could be shown.

Evil wizard
In New Zealand, where director Peter Jackson made the trilogy, 20,000 people held a street party before the Australia and New Zealand premiere of the film.

Also in New Zealand, the capital city Wellington is going to be re-named Middle-Earth for a short time to celebrate the opening of the film.

The people who sell cinema tickets said close to nine out of every 10 cinema tickets sold were for Lord of the Rings.

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