Still from “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”.
New Line Cinema
Amazon’s TV show “Lord of the Rings” is becoming an expensive endeavor for the technology company.
On Friday, New Zealand’s Minister of Economic Development and Tourism announced that the fantasy drama will be one of the most expensive television series ever made. The price for the first season is around $ 465 million.
“But I can tell you that Amazon will spend about $ 650 million in season one alone,” Stuart Nash told Morning Report. The number he provided was in local currency.
The production count is enormous and is probably the largest sum any studio has spent producing a single television season. For comparison: HBO’s “Game of Thrones” cost around $ 100 million per season. Season one episodes cost around $ 6 million each and rose to around $ 15 million by season eight.
Amazon spent approximately $ 250 million on the rights to the Tolkien property in 2017.
“This is going to be the greatest television series ever made,” said Nash.
The numbers, released under the New Zealand Government’s Official Information Act, were first reported by New Zealand Outlet Stuff. Their report showed that Amazon plans to shoot five seasons in the country and possibly produce a spin-off series.
Amazon’s spending in New Zealand will generate a tax break of around $ 114 million and has been classified as a “significant financial risk” by the country’s Treasury Department. There’s no cap on how much Amazon can spend, and so New Zealand could be hooked for hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize the project.
However, manufacturing is likely to bring a big financial boost to the local economy as Amazon pays for local workers, hotels, and groceries, among other things. Then there is the future tourism dent. Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” trilogies were a great boon to New Zealand as they drew travelers from all over the world.
The “Lord of the Rings” series is currently in production and is expected to be released in late 2021.