Extended cut of ‘Rings’ rolls out on vid, DVD

First version bows Aug. 6, four-disc in November

HOLLYWOOD — New Line Home Video will release an extended cut of “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” on video just five weeks before sequel “The Two Towers” premieres in theaters Dec. 18.

The extended version on VHS and DVD will include more than 30 minutes of extra footage that likely will generate an R rating, according to New Line. A four-disc DVD version of the extended edition also will include more than six hours of supplemental material.

The PG-13 version of the three-hour movie that generated has nearly $300 million in domestic box office to date will be available Aug. 6.

Sneak peek

Milking the promotional possibilities for all they’re worth and making it tempting for consumers to buy both editions, the first DVD version Aug. 6 ($29.95) will include a 10-minute behind-the-scenes preview teaser of “Two Towers” as part of two hours of supplemental material on a double-disc set.

New Line Home Entertainment president and chief operating officer Stephen Einhorn said the studio decided to hold off on releasing the director’s cut to allow helmer Peter Jackson time to finish work on all the special DVD features while continuing production on “Two Towers.”

New Line is creating a promotional campaign valued at $65 million for the video versions of the movie, beginning with $45 million in advertising on the Aug. 6 release with marketing partners Kia, Nokia and Cricket, Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand, Gateway/Intel and others.

New Line made the announcement Tuesday night at the studio lot of sister Warner Bros. More than 400 retailers, media, cast and crew from the film as well as Einhorn and New Line Cinema co-chairman/co-CEO Bob Shaye were expected at the theme party.

Video/DVD dates for other Oscar winners and nominees are being announced this week in more traditional low-key press release fashion. Lions Gate will release “Monster’s Ball,” starring Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry on June 11. Also expected that month from Universal are best picture winner “A Beautiful Mind” and nominee “Gosford Park.”

Oscar bump for ‘Day’

Retailers from Wal-Mart to Tower Records and Amazon.com are reporting significantly increased sales this week for “Training Day,” which was released last week, just before Denzel Washington won the Academy Award for actor. Blockbuster has used the title for a new promotion in which consumers may rent the movie on DVD and then buy it for $9.99 if they like it.

Warner Home Video made TV promo spots for “Training Day” in anticipation of Washington’s win. The spots, which refer to the Oscar nod, were put into heavy rotation beginning Tuesday and will run for the remainder of the campaign for the film.

‘Iris’ set to bloom

Buena Vista Home Entertainment is expected to announce release plans this week for “Iris,” starring supporting actor Oscar winner Jim Broadbent. The studio previously announced a Sept. 17 release date for song winner “Monsters, Inc.”

Other winners including “Shrek,” “Moulin Rouge” and “Pearl Harbor” have been on video for months; a director’s cut of “Pearl Harbor,” which may also get an R rating, is coming July 2.

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