It took every fiber of my willpower to not make this entire trilogy the choices for 2001, 2002 and 2003. Because, to me, the Lord of the Rings was what defined 2001-2003. But I felt that wasn’t quite fair, and I’d run out of stuff to talk about, so I tried to think about it more objectively. And then I came up with just Fellowship and this one, which I thought wouldn’t have worked. So in the end, I felt it was best to just have one choice from the franchise, which meant all the honor, just like with the Oscars, fell upon this one. And this one reaped the benefits of what was achieved by the entire trilogy.
I mean, think about how ubiquitous these films were during that time. They were everywhere. They were all people talked about. They got millions of people to read the books for the first time. And even more to read them again. They got all of us invested in what used to be thought of as “fantasy” and “nerd” stories. (You know what I mean. The mainstream really never accepted this kind of realm in the past. Not the way these films told it.) They were huge deals. And despite only having three films, the franchise is one of the top ten highest grossing of all time. Those three films made a billion dollars in the US alone! I don’t see how at least one of the movies couldn’t make an appearance on this list. (more…)