It was a big deal when HBO shelled out $8 million for the “Blackwater” episode of Game of Thrones. That was then, thi$$$ is now. Every episode in the show’s eighth and final will cost a reported $15 million. That $90 million spread over six episodes is nothing compared to The Crown, though — the lavish and meticulously detailed Netflix series had a $130 budget for its first season, making it “the biggest-budget television series of all time.”
Well, someone call the police, because Amazon is about to commit regicide: according to The Hollywood Reporter, the just-announced The Lord of the Rings series is “believed to be for five seasons — plus a potential spinoff — with insiders putting the price tag for global rights at around $250 million.”
That’s only the beginning, though.
Once production budgets, casting, writers, producers, and visual effects are factored in, the total for the Rings series — which will be set in Middle-earth and explore storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring — could hit $1 billion. Yes, $1 billion for a TV show. (Via)
That is a lot of money, even for Amazon, which spent $80 million on a show literally no one has seen, Woody Allen’s Crisis In Six Scenes. Is it a good deal, though? Let’s go with the $1 billion for five seasons figure. A streaming service season is typically 10 episodes, with each clocking in at an hour. That’s 50 hours of television, or 3,000 minutes, for $20 million per episode. Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy — which clocks in at 558 minutes (for the theatrical run times, at least) — cost $281 million, total. In other words, the show will have spent the entire budget of the three films by the middle of season two.
But that’s the kind of financial high risk, higher reward you can make when your CEO makes $9 billion in a single night.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)