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<I>Two Towers</I> Looms at Stores

30 Aug, 2003 By: Jessica Wolf

There was excitement in the air last week as shoppers picked up The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers at their favorite retail locations. At Costa Mesa, Calif., Fry’s Electronics and Best Buy locations visited on street date, nearly every shopper in the checkout line had a copy of the DVD in hand.

Best Buy went all out with two giant “stone” walls flanking the entrance to the video section. Lord of the Rings DVDs, video games and CD soundtracks were displayed on top of them. A big-screen TV with the PS2 Two Towers game greeted video and game shoppers. There was a bit of a snafu at this particular location. Several other stores in the area hosted midnight sales parties for the title. A clerk said about 30 people mistakenly lined up outside this particular store and had to be sent home by a parking lot security guard.

A nearby Virgin Megastore has had a beautiful LOTR display up for the past few weeks, guarded by a lifelike statue of Gollum. On street date, every TV screen in the store was running the movie and shoppers stopped to watch for a few moments here and there.

Widescreen selection across the board seemed to be the popular choice. While there were plenty of fullscreen versions at each location visited, the widescreen slots were the most picked over at Best Buy, Target, Kmart, Wal-Mart and Fry’s Electronics.

At Fry’s, widescreen shoppers got a big savings on Two Towers over viewers who prefer full-frame. The store was charging $22.99 for the full-frame version and $14.88 for the widescreen.

A nearby Borders location boasted uncharacteristically low pricing for the title, at $17.99, and posted signs touting the sale price around the store. A Borders clerk said, “I think we even beat Best Buy on this one.”

Costco stocked up on the Fellowship four-disc extended edition, stocking plenty on an endcap in the DVD section, priced at $25.49. For a limited time, Costco shoppers get a $7 savings with the purchase of Towers and the Fellowship extended edition.

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