Rings of Power delivers record-breaking launch for Amazon

Amazon has declared that its eagerly-anticipated new series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has been a success with more than 25 million global viewers on its first day.

The series provides audiences with their first visit to Middle Earth since the Hobbit trilogy wrapped up in 2014, and presents a drama set thousands of years before J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic books.

Amazon said that the series broke all previous Prime Video records to become the streamer’s most-successful ever launch across more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.

Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said: “It is somehow fitting that Tolkien’s stories – among the most popular of all time, and what many consider to be the true origin of the fantasy genre – have led us to this proud moment. I am so grateful to the Tolkien Estate – and to our showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, executive producer Lindsey Weber, cast and crew – for their tireless collaborative efforts and boundless creative energy. And it is the tens of millions of fans watching – clearly as passionate about Middle-earth as we are – who are our true measure of success.”

While being Prime Video’s biggest-ever launch, the show is also reportedly the most-expensive TV series ever made. Amazon won a bidding war to pay the Tolkien estate the princely sum of US$250 million for the rights in 2017, and subsequently spent a reported US$465 million on the first season’s eight episodes. For added context, Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy (released 2001-03) had a collective budget of US$281 million.

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