'Lord of the Rings' prequel is Amazon Prime Video's biggest premiere

Agence France Presse

Posted at Sep 04 2022 10:39 AM

NEW YORK, United States - Amazon announced Saturday that its big budget series "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, had marked the biggest premiere in the history of Prime Video -- with 25 million viewers. 

With this flagship production that started streaming Friday, Prime Video aims to counter the lure of HBO and its prequel to the hit series "Game of Thrones", "House of the Dragon", which began airing on August 21. 

HBO also has said it had its best premiere, with its prequel, with nearly 10 million viewers in the United States alone. 

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power attracted more than 25 million global viewers on its first day, breaking all previous records, marking the biggest premiere in the history of Prime Video," a company statement said. It has aired the first two episodes. 

"It is somehow fitting that Tolkien's stories -- among the most popular of all time, and what many consider to be the true origin of the fantasy genre -- have led us to this proud moment," said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios.

The series, which will air until October 14, is crucial for Amazon, which wants to play in the ultra-competitive streaming landscape, where Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max are already battling it out. 

"The Rings of Power" is set during Tolkien's Second Age in Middle-earth, thousands of years before the events of "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings", Tolkien's cult trilogy which has already been adapted for film.

Amazon paid $250 million to buy the rights, and some $465 million was spent on the first season alone. The group having committed to five seasons, the final sum should top one billion dollars by far.