Watching the Lord of the Rings: Tolkien's World Audiences

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Peter Lang, 2008 - Performing Arts - 297 pages
How did audiences across the world respond to the films of The Lord of the Rings? This book presents findings from the largest film audience project ever undertaken, drawing from 25,000 questionnaire responses and a wide array of other materials. Contributors use these materials to explore a series of widely speculated questions: why is film fantasy important to different kinds of viewers? Through marketing, previews and reviews, debates and cultural chatter, how are audiences prepared for a film like this? How did fans of the book respond to its adaptation on screen? How do people choose their favorite characters? How was the films' reception shaped by different national and cultural contexts?
The answers to these questions shed fresh light on the extraordinary popularity of The Lord of the Rings and provide important new insights into the global reception of cinema in the twenty-first century.
 

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Contents

Researching The Lord of the Rings Audiences and Contexts
1
Selling the Franchise
21
Box Office Mojos Top Franchises
23
The Prefiguration and Reception
37
Fan Sites as Source of Information
49
What Do Female Fans Want? Blockbusters The Return of the King
69
The Books the DVDs the Extras and Their Lovers
83
and Adaptation
103
Rank Order of Countries by Levels of Repeat Reading Importance
151
Summary Comparison of Epic and Spiritual Journey Responses 1 58
158
France Engaged and Vernacular Epic
164
Slovenia Vernacular Good vs Evil Engaged Epic
170
Beyond Words? The Return of the King and the Pleasures of the Text
181
Emotional Languages
183
Heroism in The Return of the King
191
About Favourite Characters 1 93
193

Audience Strategies
111
Favourite Characters all respondents
117
Global Flows and Local Identifications? The Lord of the Rings
131
Appreciation of Lord of the Rings Return of the King and Familiarity
133
Odds Ratios for Modality Choice
139
A Comparison of Audiences
149
Proportion of Overlap by Country between Overall Populations
150
Understanding Text as Cultural Practice and
207
Our Methodological Challenges and Solutions
213
Lexical Correspondence Analysis
231
The World Data Set
241
Bibliography
277
Index
291
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

The Editors: Martin Barker is Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He is the author of many books about film and film reception, including The Lasting of the Mohicans: History of an American Myth (with Roger Sabin, 1996), Knowing Audiences: Judge Dredd, its Friends, Fans and Foes (with Kate Brooks, 1998), and The Crash Controversy: Censorship Campaigns and Film Reception (with Jane Arthurs and Ramaswami Harindranath, 2001).
Ernest Mathijs is Assistant Professor of Film and Drama at the University of British Columbia, Canada. He edited From Hobbits to Hollywood (with Murray Pomerance, 2006), The Lord of the Rings: Popular Culture in Global Context (2006), Alternative Europe (with Xavier Mendik, 2004), The Cult Film Reader (also with Xavier Mendik, 2007), and is the author, with Jamie Sexton, of Cult Cinema: an Introduction (2008).

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