When Peter Jackson directed the first Lord Of The Rings trilogy, released between 2001 and 2003, the combined cost of the three movies was $281 million.
A little over a decade later, when Jackson returned to direct The Hobbit trilogy, the combined cost before any promotion or advertising was $675 million.
Amazon Studios today secured the rights – and just the rights, mind you – the The Lord Of The Rings, for a wallet-busting $250 million, according to Deadline.
That is before the company have spent a single penny on any development, talent, production, or any advertising. The budget is estimated to be around $150 million per season, and Amazon have signed on for a multi-season contract, as well as the rights to a potential spin-off series.
Sharon Tal Yguado, the Head of Scripted Series at Amazon Studios, had the following to say about the property:
“The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen. We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth.”
It is clear that there is going to be a major rush to fill the gap left after Game Of Thrones ends in 2019, and both HBO and Netflix were part of the bidding war with Amazon to become the lord of the rights.
Amazon are reportedly intending to produce a series which will take place before the events of The Lord Of The Rings, but are not told in the story of The Hobbit.
The Lord Of The Rings trilogy went on to make $2.91 billion, while The Hobbit trilogy went on to make $2.93 billion, so there is clearly a lot of money to be made from this franchise, and according to The New York Times, HBO banks around a billion dollars a year from Game Of Thrones.