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New Zealand Gave Amazon $116M To Cover Costs On New 'Lord Of The Rings' Series

New Zealand Gave Amazon $116M To Cover Costs On New 'Lord Of The Rings' Series

The government of New Zealand provided Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) with a $116 million in rebates to help finance the creation of its “The Lord of the Rings” streaming series.

What Happened: According to a Reuters report, Amazon is spending approximately $465 million on this series, which is being created for its Prime Video service, with the first eight-episode season scheduled to premiere later this year.

Amazon was eligible for a 20% grant New Zealand offers international productions that shoot on location in the Antipodean nation, plus an additional 5% screen production grant. The New Zealand government noted Amazon employed 1,200 during the production, which began shooting last year, with 700 indirectly employed through the offering of specific services to the production company.

In a press statement, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash said Amazon production “generates local jobs and creates work for local businesses. It will enable a new wave of international tourism branding and promotion for this country.”

Related Link: Netflix Snags US Streaming Rights For Sony Pictures

Why It Matters: Based on the classic novels by J.R.R. Tolkein, the film trilogy of “The Lord of the Rings” was shot in New Zealand under the direction of Peter Jackson, one of the nation’s most prominent filmmakers. The three films had a combined box office gross of nearly $3 billion and the third in the series, “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King,” won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

As a new streaming franchise with a built-in following, “The Lord of the Rings” is certain to help bring new viewers to the Amazon Prime service. In his annual letter to shareholders yesterday, CEO Jeff Bezos announced Prime passed the 200 million-mark for subscribers, putting it ahead of the 100 million subscribers for the Disney+ service from Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) and second to the 204 million subscribers to Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX).

Related Link: The State Of Streaming In 2021: A Fight For Content And Eyeballs

(Viggo Mortensen in the Academy Award-winning “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.” Photo courtesy New Line Cinema.)


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