Nobody ever said original programming was cheap, but an internal Amazon document shows just how expensive it can be — to the tune of $500 million for a new prequel series of “The Lord of the Rings.”
Amazon said in November it plans to create a multi-season prequel based on the beloved book series and blockbuster movies that came out of it. Insiders put the cost just for rights at $250 million.
Now comes word from a leaked document obtained by Reuters that Amazon could spend another $250 million on production and marketing for the series, bringing the total cost to $500 million.
That’s a lot more than the estimated $280 million all three movies in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy cost to make, before advertising, according to Box Office Mojo.
Amazon’s reasoning for creating its original TV series has been that they bring in new viewers who must first sign up for its $99 a year Prime membership, and those Prime members go on to spend more — lots more — on Amazon than others.