The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was meant to be Amazon Prime Video's Game of Thrones-beater, with the streamer spending enough for it to reportedly become the most expensive series ever made.
The question is, was the investment worth it?
When the prequel series debuted last September, it delivered Prime Video's biggest-ever debut in what Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke called "a very culturally defining moment" for the company. However, it appears The Rings of Power quickly lost a massive number of viewers as the season progressed.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources have told them that the show had only a 37% completion rate in the U.S. Overseas, only 45% of people finished the series, with 50% typically deemed an okay, but far from amazing, result.
It's also noteworthy that The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power hasn't become a major awards contender, a stark contrast to HBO's House of the Dragon.
Salke responds, "This desire to paint the show as anything less than a success — it’s not reflective of any conversation I’m having internally." The upcoming second season, currently in production, will have more dramatic story turns, she adds. "That’s a huge opportunity for us. The first season required a lot of setting up."
It seems all that "setting up" was a turn-off for many viewers, so whether they'll now be interested in returning for season 2 remains to be seen.
Prime Video will also find itself with some unexpected competition in the form of Warner Bros. Last month, the studio announced plans to expand the franchise in theaters, suggesting we'll soon see two conflicting visions for Middle-earth on our screens.
We're sure The Rings of Power is meant to be here for the long haul, but if season 2 doesn't perform well for the streamer, it could reach a premature end.
Stay tuned for updates.