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Lord of the Rings stars are Hollywood's 'highest earning' screen couple, says Forbes

The Lord of the Rings trilogy stars Liv Tyler and Viggo Mortensen have proved to be box office gold, after they were named Hollywood's highest earning screen couple.

The efforts of Mortensen and Tyler helped earn the trilogy of films, based on the JK Tolkein books, £1.8bn (€2bn) at the worldwide box office, according to Forbes business magazine.

The films, centres on Frodo's quest to destroy the dangerous Ring, but it is the romance between Mortensen's Aragon and Tyler's Arwen that becomes the heart of the movie.

Forbes said Arwen's choice between immortality and love appeared to be drove many female moviegoers to the cinema.

"The coupling of Viggo Mortensen and Liv Tyler convinced a lot of girlfriends to sit through more than nine hours of orcs and wizards and hobbits," the magazine said.

The second most successful couple was Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire from the Spider-Man films, Forbes said in its first ever Hollywood top earning couples list.

The trilogy, which follows the adventures of the superhero, took a combined total of £1.1bn (€1.2bn) at the box office.

The two movies beat out doomed love affair between Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio, which helped make "Titanic" one the most successful films of all time.

But their on screen chemistry wasn't enough to help them top the list, instead coming in third.

While Winslet and Di Caprio's pairing in Titanic helped it become the most successful film of all time until last month, when it was eclipsed by Avatar, their outing in 2008's "Revolutionary Road" was not so successful.

The 1950s drama only took £50m at the box office but combined with the £1.1bn (€1.2bn) from Titanic meant they were third.

British star Robert Pattinson also makes the list from the two "Twilight" films, with his on-screen relationship with Kristen Stewart.

Forbes said the "multi-movie onslaught", which has taken more than £600m (€680m) at the box office, "may prove the most powerful and profitable of all" with the third instalment, "Eclipse", due in cinemas later this year.

To compile the list Forbes said it considered romantic parings that had appeared in at least two films together in the past 20 years.

The pairs were ranked on worldwide box office takings, but did not include animated movies.

Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf were fourth on the list with the two "Transformers" film taking about £900m (€1.02bn).

Julie Roberts, once the highest paid actress in the world at £15m (€17m) a picture, appears twice on the list for her pairings with George Clooney and Richard Gere.

The actress appeared with Gere in "Pretty Woman" and "Runaway Bride" and with Clooney played the female interest in two of the Oceans 11 films.

Hollywood's top earning couples:

1. Viggo Mortensen and Liv Tyler £1.8bn (€2bn)

2. Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire £1.5bn (€17bn)

3. Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio £1.1bn (€1.2bn)

4. Shia La Beouf and Megan Fox £900m (€1.02bn)

5. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart £600m (€680m)

6. Julia Roberts and George Clooney £540m (€612m)

7. Julie Roberts and Richard Gere £481m (€545m)

Source: Fobes Magazine

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