‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ sets Amazon Prime viewing record

The two-episode premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power attracted 25 million viewers around the world within 24 hours, making it the biggest debut in Prime Video’s history, Amazon said in a press release. “It’s kind of fitting that Tolkien’s stories – among the most popular of all time and considered by many to be the true origins of the fantasy genre – have led us to this proud moment,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios.

The stakes were high for the series, with a reported budget of $465 million for its first season and stiff competition from rival HBO house of dragons Series. The latter recently debuted with 9.986 million viewers on its HBO and HBO Max linear streaming platforms, with the highest ratings in HBO history.

Amazon also took the unusual step of delaying reviews for The Rings of Power around 72 hours to filter out trolls, diversity reported. It appeared to have been “review bombarded” on sites like Rotten Tomatoes, where it received a 37 percent rating from users but an 84 percent rating from critics. The series had to delve into its decision to cast black actors as elves, dwarves, and other characters.

The studio plans to evaluate each review to determine if it’s legit or created by a bot or troll. Amazon first introduced the practice with the baseball series A league of its own debuted on August 12. That strategy seems to have worked, with the latter earning a 4.3 star rating out of 5 on Prime Video, compared to a 94 percent critic rating from Rotten Tomatoes (which, however, also closely matches RT’s 85 percent audience rating).

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Russell Falcon

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