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‘Rings’ is the thing

Scandinavia records boffo ticket pre-sales

AMSTERDAM — Ticket pre-sales for New Line’s “Lord of the Rings” is breaking all records in the Nordic territories.

SF Bio, which is distribbing the film set to open December 19, reports that more than 100,000 tickets were sold in the first 24 hours, both at the box office and on the Web, when sales opened on November 19 in Sweden.

“We’ve never seen anything like this. People began lining up in sub-zero weather on Friday just to buy tickets on Monday morning,” said Jan Bernhardsson, CEO of SF Bio.

In Sweden, “Harry Potter” sold 100,000 tickets in its first two weeks of pre-sales.

In the northern city of Lulea, below-freezing temperatures failed to keep “Lord” fans from lining up as early as Sunday afternoon to buy tickets. In some areas around Sweden, SF Bio employees reportedly helped keep hunger pains and hypothermia at bay with the offer of free burgers, coffee, sandwiches and snacks to would be ticket buyers from Sunday evening on.

In Denmark and Norway, “Lord” also had record first day pre-sales of 35,000 and 22,000 respectively. Finland will start its pre-sales on December 3.

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