Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ:AMZN) spent heavily on its Lord of the Rings TV series, and that paid off with a splash atop the streaming ratings.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, a prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, streamed 1.253B minutes during Nielsen's most recent weekly streaming ratings (for Aug. 29-Sept. 4) - the only program to top 1B minutes in the week, and the first Amazon series to open at No. 1.
The Rings of Power, which streamed two episodes in its debut week, comes in as one of the most expensive series of all time, after Amazon made a commitment to the TV rights for $1B over five seasons, and amid reports that its first season cost $465M (though that included lots of upfront investment in infrastructure like sets that would be used throughout the series' run).
That viewing outpaces the show's prestige-series fantasy rivals at HBO Max: Game of Thrones (NASDAQ:WBD) was the fourth-most streamed program, with 792M minutes, and prequel House of the Dragon (WBD) was No. 5 with 781M minutes. In both those cases, though, it's important to note those minutes only reflect HBO Max streaming and don't account for viewing on linear HBO channels.
Rounding out the overall top 10: No. 6, Devil In Ohio (NFLX), 716M minutes; No. 7, CoComelon (NFLX), 693M minutes; No. 8, Grey's Anatomy (NFLX), 674M minutes; No. 9, Stranger Things (NFLX), 667M minutes; and No. 10, Echoes (NFLX), 627M minutes.
Of course, The Rings of Power (AMZN) also topped the original-series chart, ahead of Netflix's (NFLX) Devil In Ohio, Stranger Things and Echoes. Disney+ (NYSE:DIS), though, built its audience for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law with a third episode, which drove the show to stream 472M minutes during the week.
Netflix's (NFLX) NCIS topped that list with 812M minutes streamed, just ahead of HBO's Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon; HBO Max (WBD) also put The Big Bang Theory on the list at No. 7 (571M minutes), and Friends at No. 8 (480M minutes). Disney+ (DIS) appeared on that list at No. 6 with Bluey (581M minutes) and No. 10 with The Simpsons (397M minutes).
In movies, Netflix (NFLX) again topped the list with Me Time and Love in the Villa (502M minutes), but HBO Max (WBD) scored again with a No. 3 entry for Elvis (482M minutes). Just behind it was Amazon Prime Video's (AMZN) Samaritan (378M minutes). But Disney+ (DIS) is still buttering its bread with its reliable films: Lightyear landed at No. 9 (211M minutes), and Encanto at No. 10 (208M minutes).
Netflix stock had its best day of the year Wednesday, up 9.3% after an upgrade at Atlantic Equities.