Boxing Day revs surpass 'Phantom Menace'

SYDNEY — New Line’s “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” has smashed Australia’s opening day B.O. record held since 1999 by “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.”

The $A4.17 million ($2.09 million) haul from 405 screens recorded on the Dec. 26 Boxing Day holiday was well ahead of the $1.3 million record for “Phantom Menace.”

“To gross in excess of $2 million in one day is well above expectations and couldn’t have been predicted before today,” said Ian Sands, topper for Roadshow Film Distribbers, which is distributing “Rings” Down Under.

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