- Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” series cost the company $715 million, making it the most expensive show ever.
- The total amounts to more than 5.1 million annual Amazon Prime subscriptions, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Netflix and HBO were interested in the show, but Amazon shelled out a massive sum of money to beat them to it.
Amazon has put big money into its new series based on JRR Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” book trilogy.
The 8-episode season of “The Rings of Power” has cost the company $715 million, or more than 5.1 million annual subscriptions to Amazon Prime, according to the Wall Street Journal. Last year, Amazon said that it had more than 200 million subscribers to Prime. A subscription to the service costs $139 per year.
The Journal reports that other streaming companies, including Netflix and HBO, were interested in buying the TV rights of the much-loved book series, but only Amazon shelled out nearly $250 million, beating out the competition.
It’s been widely reported that Amazon spent nearly $500 million on the show’s production in New Zealand and tens of millions of dollars in marketing and promotion.
Despite the fact that the show’s massive cost only comes to about 0.15% of Amazon’s 2021 revenue, according to the Journal, “The Rings of Power” is a gamble for Amazon.
One former senior Amazon Studios exec recently told Insider that the show could be make-or-break for the studio.
“If we can’t take this piece of IP and make it successful, why is Amazon Studios even here?… It has to succeed. There’s no option,” they said.
The Journal reports that Amazon hopes the show will grow to be successful enough to spawn spinoffs and merchandise, similar to HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, a Tolkien fan himself, recently tried to satisfy potential fans that the e-commerce giant is producing the show for more than just the big bucks.
“I hope we do Tolkien’s work justice,” he told Time magazine earlier this month.