The Price Tag Is In On Amazon’s New ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Series And It Is… Yeah, A Really Big Number

A lot has been made about the budget for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Too much, one could argue. But I would not make this argument. This is the most expensive show in the history of television, to the tune of $715 million for the first season alone if you include the nearly $250 million that Amazon paid for the rights.

The Wall Street Journal put The Rings of Power‘s staggering budget into perspective: the bill “comes to roughly $715 million, or about 5,143,885 annual Prime subscriptions — 0.15 percent of Amazon’s 2021 revenues and approximately one-fifth what New Zealand, where the series was filmed, allocated for its defense budget this year.”

It’s unclear how many Prime Video subscribers have an annual subscription compared to month to month, but overall, Amazon’s streaming service has 175 million subscribers. Meaning, roughly one of out every 35 patrons is footing the bill for The Rings of Power.

The sellers had expected to receive between $50 million and $75 million for the rights… The nearly $250 million offered by Amazon — split roughly 50/50 between the Tolkien estate and Warner Bros. — came after the company pledged several seasons of the show and highlighted its ability to cross-promote the author’s books on its website. (In 1999, Amazon customers named Lord of the Rings the best book of the millennium.)

If The Rings of Power is a bust, Amazon’s space-obsessed CEO Jeff Bezos will take a major financial hit: he’ll only be able to afford two mega-yachts this year, instead of three.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power premieres on September 1.

(Via the Wall Street Journal)