What Is the Order of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Movies?

Before Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings reigned supreme. The movies, released in the early 2000s, are based upon the books written by author J. R. R. Tolkien. Get all of the details on The Lord of the Rings movies ahead.

What’s the order of the ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movies?

Below is the order of The Lord of the Rings movies by release date:

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

About ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’

The first installment in the series premiered in 2001 and starred Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Sean Bean, and Cate Blanchett.

Cast of 'Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.'
Cast of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring | DMIPhoto/FilmMagic

Proven to be a success, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, made $66 million domestically it’s opening weekend, according to IMDb. Worldwide the film grossed $871 million.

Rotten Tomatoes confirms just how much people love the first installment in the trilogy. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring has an audience score of 95% based on 1.3 million user ratings and a score of 91% on the “Tomatometer.”

About ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers’

Two years later, came the sequel, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Premiering on Dec. 18, 2002, the movie had an estimated budget of $94 million and made $62 million opening weekend. In the U.S., the film made $342 million in total and $926 million worldwide.

Audiences and critics agreed on the quality of the second installment in the trilogy. Both gave the film a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.

About ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’

The third and final installment in the series, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, premiered in 2003. Opening weekend in the U.S. the film made $72 million. Worldwide sales soared earning more than $1 billion.

It’s hard to live up to the hype of an original. Some movie franchises, unfortunately, get worse with each installment. But not with the third Lord of the Rings film.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King official trailer | YouTube

The third film, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, has a 91% “Tomatometer” rating on Rotten Tomatoes as well as an audience score of 95% from 1.3 million user ratings.

What about ‘The Hobbit’ movies?

The Hobbit films came about after the success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy although Tolkien wrote The Hobbit books first. Critics and audiences didn’t receive The Hobbit trilogy as well as it’s predecessor.

Below is the order of The Hobbit movies by release date:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

For those who haven’t watched The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings films, watching them all in order of release date would make it easiest to follow the plot.