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Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Series Blows Up Budget Record at $465 Million

Lord of the Rings
(Image credit: WarnerMedia)

Prime members are going to have to stick around to buy a lot of stuff if this show is ever going to be successful amortized. 

Thanks to government transparency rules in the show’s nation of location, we now know that Amazon is budgeting to spend a record $465 million to shoot the first season of its Lord of the Rings series. 

“I can tell you Amazon is going to spend about $650 million in season one alone,” Stuart Nash, New Zealand’s minister for economic development and tourism, told Morning Report. 

For comparison, the final season of HBO’s hit Game of Thrones costs only around $100 million to make. Season one costs less than half that amount, with the stars not yet re-upped amid ratings success.

If there's been a more expensive TV show--or SVOD show, as the case may be--we don't know of it.

“This will be the largest television series ever made,” Nash said.

Amazon will receive a tax rebate of around $114 million from the Kiwi government. Local officials have deemed the project “a significant risk.”

Of course, the rewards could be substantial, and not just for Amazon. Not only did Peter Jackson’s three-part, early-aughts film iteration gross nearly $3 billion in global box office alone, it generated hundreds of millions of dollar or tourism and overall brand equity for New Zealand. 

The LOTR series is currently in production and is scheduled to bow its eight first-season episodes in the latter part of the year. 

The New Zealand disclosure was made a day after Amazon filed an SEC report, detailing an $11 billion spend in 2020 on music and video content for its Prime platforms. 

Daniel Frankel
Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!