Amazon Prime Video has finally brought the long-awaited Lord of the Rings series, The Rings of Power, to record viewership.
The premiere drew 25 million viewers worldwide, making it the biggest debut in Amazon Prime Video history.
The figures were published in a company press release.
“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 head of Amazon Studio, Jennifer Salke.
The debut of The Rings of Power came at a difficult time as it faced stiff competition from the HBO series House of the Dragon.
The $465 million series, based on JRR Tolkien’s works, rivaled the Game of Thrones prequel series, which debuted with the highest score in HBO history.
House of the Dragon drew 9.986 million viewers through its HBO Linear and HBO Max streaming platforms.
Despite the promising numbers, The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power also faced criticism.
Although critics and fans of Peter Jackson films have praised the series, Rings of Power has been bombarded with negative reviews.
Since the show’s inception, many have criticized the casting decisions, especially the addition of black people.
Meanwhile, loyalists to the original source material have criticized the depiction of female dwarfs, pointing out the lack of beards depicted in books and films.
Variety reports that Amazon has taken unusual measures to delay The Rings of Power reviews by 72 hours in order to filter out trolls.
However, the show was reviewed on Rotten Tomatoes and received a 37% rating from users, while critics gave it an 84% rating.
Amazon Prime Videos plans to evaluate reviews to determine if they are legitimate opinions or come from a troll or bot.
The company adopted a similar plan when the A League of Their Own baseball series launched on August 12.
The strategy turned out to be fruitful, as the series received a rating of 4.3 (out of 5 stars) on the streaming platform, compared to 94% of Rotten Tomatoes reviewers.
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