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Amazon’s LORD OF THE RINGS Series Might be the Most Expensive TV Show Ever

Amazon’s LORD OF THE RINGS Series Might be the Most Expensive TV Show Ever

Every network wants their own Game of Thrones, which is why Amazon will be venturing to Middle Earth with a Lord of the Rings TV series. While it remains to be seen if it will achieve the massive level of success HBO’s hit show has, it looks like there’s one way in which it will outdo its fantasy counterpart–it’s budget. Because it’s possible Amazon is about to air the most expensive television show ever made, with a potential commitment close to one billion dollars.

According to The Hollywood Reporter Amazon paid 250 million just for the global rights for the show, which itself is a staggering number considering the entire budget for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy was reportedly between 280 and 297 million. That’s not a perfect comparison when you consider inflation and that he made three films totaling over 11 hours in runtime (extended editions), compared to the five seasons and possible spin-off Amazon is reportedly looking at making. But it still gives you an idea of what kind of financial obligation the company is making to enter the world of J.R.R. Tolkien even before it hires a single person to work on the series.

(If you’re curious, The Hobbit trilogy cost close to 750 million. It ain’t cheap filming dwarves singing a song about cleaning the dishes!)

But to make that many years of a show at the quality fans of the Lord of the Rings movies will accept–as well as the expectations people will have for the “next” Game of Thrones–is why it’s possible the ultimate price tag to produce the series could be close to one billion, which would make it the most expensive TV series ever. The reported budget for Game of Thrones eighth and final season is 15 million for each of the six episodes, which means before any promotion it will cost HBO at least 90 million. Even in season one, before anyone could have guessed it would become the most popular show in the world, it had a massive television budget of six million per episode. A conservative estimate for the show’s total budget is probably 500 million.

But it’s hard to imagine anyone at HBO thinks the financial commitment hasn’t been worth it, considering the cultural phenomenon the show has become. Which is why we’d bet that if Amazon can achieve the same level of success with its Lord of the Rings series it will consider it money well spent.

At the very least we know one thing: dragons, swords, and magic are not cheap.

What do you think? Will this pay off for Amazon? Or is this an insane amount of money for a TV show? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Images: New Line Cinema

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