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LOTR: The Rings of Power attracts 25 million viewers in one day, says Amazon

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is taking on HBO’s House of the Dragon

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was sampled by more than 25 million people on its first day, according to Amazon, making it the most-watched premiere in the history of its global SVoD service, Prime Video.

The first two episodes of the series debuted on September 1, with the remaining six set to launch weekly until the finale drops on October 14.

This marks the first time Amazon has released viewing figures for one of its original series. However, it did not say how much of an episode a Prime Video member needs to watch in order for it to be counted as a view, or how many of those 25 million finished the episode.

“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.

“I am so grateful to the Tolkien Estate – and to our showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay, executive producer Lindsey Weber, cast and crew – for their tireless collaborative efforts and boundless creative energy. And it is the tens of millions of fans watching – clearly as passionate about Middle-earth as we are – who are our true measure of success.”

The Rings of Power, which is set thousands of years before the events of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, is going head-to-head with another fantasy epic this summer: HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off, House of the Dragon.

According to HBO, House of the Dragon was watched by 10 million people in the US on the night it premiered across both linear and streaming. Four days following the premiere, that tally had increased to 20 million, said HBO, and the prequel series was swiftly renewed.

Making a like-for-like comparison is almost impossible, however, as SVoD viewing figures are typically self-reported and each service uses slightly different metrics to gauge viewership.

Season one of The Rings of Power reportedly cost around US$465m, which, if accurate, would make it the most expensive season of television ever produced. Picking up the rights from the Tolkien estate also cost a reported US$250m.

Filming of season one took place in New Zealand. The production relocated to the UK for the second season, which is due to begin filming later this year. In all, Amazon has made a five-season commitment to the TV show.


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