It looks like Amazon Studios’ ambitions have reached an all-new high, as recent reports have unveiled that their upcoming The Lord of the Rings series might be the most expensive show ever produced. They are estimated to spend NZ$650 million, which is around US$465 million. Keep in mind, this is the budget for the first season and not the entire series run. As far as we know, they also plan to have future seasons to expand it.
This investment also has a very important meaning for New Zealand moving forward, as the money is invested into their local economy. Amazon received a $100 million boost for the film production and made a multi-year deal to secure benefits from the country. Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Stuard Nash shared his enthusiasm:
I think what we have got out of Amazon in terms of the MOU and the industry and how we’re going to train people and our ability to use footage for tourism, the ability to leverage off a lot of what Amazon is doing, is fantastic
It is a historic development that could be the start of higher budgeted shows moving forward. Disney+ has been moving to give their series movie-level budgets with their originals. The Mandalorian cost $15 million per episode while Marvel Studios’ productions would reach up to $25 Million. As The Hollywood Reporter points out, even HBO’s titan Game of Thrones cost $100 million per season. It’ll be interesting to see if this high investment pays off for them.