The second in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is to receive a series of world premieres, starting with New York on 5 December.

'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' will premiere in Europe in Paris on 10 December, in the UK in London on 11 December and in Los Angeles and Copenhagen on 15 December. There will also be a special screening in Seattle on 16 December.

In New Zealand, where the Tolkien trilogy was shot back to back, the premiere will take place in Wellington on 18 December and in Sydney, Australia, on 19 December.

The first film, 'Fellowship of the Ring', took $860 million at the worldwide box office and has gone on to sell more than 35 million DVD and VHS units worldwide to date. It received 13 Oscar nominations and won four.

'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers' opens in Ireland on 18 December.