October 1, 2023

Director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings is one of the most popular film trilogies of all time. It grossed $2.981 billion at the worldwide office and won a combined 17 Academy Awards, including Best Picture for The Return of the King, from 30 nominations. However, in early 2020, the franchise left Netflix, where it had been available on and off over the past several years. Here’s why.

The Lord of the Rings’ Netflix History

After being released in 2001, The Fellowship of the Ring became available on U.S. Netflix in January 2018. However, the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel was then removed for a few months before returning that August. In January 2019, the film left the platform entirely, while its sequels, The Two Towers and The Return of The King, were added in September and removed at the end of March 2020 respectively. Although U.S. Netflix held the streaming rights to all three films, it never offered the entire trilogy at the same time.

Why Was The Lord of the Rings Removed From Netflix?

Netflix deletes popular films from its site after a certain amount of time in order to keep up appearances. If a film is too old, it might not be as popular as other new films, which would give the false appearance that Netflix’s media library is small.
In addition, by constantly cycling through popular films, Netflix can keep subscribers watching by suggesting new content that they may like. This also helps to keep Netflix’s streaming numbers up, which is good for business.
Netflix’s streaming rights battle for The Lord of the Rings was a long and difficult one. The series was repeatedly pulled from the platform, with the final nail in the coffin coming in May 2020 with the launch of WarnerMedia’s HBO Max streaming service.
HBO Max will likely retain the fantasy epic permanently.

Where Can I Stream The Lord of the Rings Trilogy?

Though it’s possible that The Lord of the Rings could return to Netflix in the future, it’s more likely that it will remain on HBO Max. This is due to a larger trend among major media providers, who are launching their own streaming services.
Examples of this include CBS, Disney, NBCUniversal and Apple. While the series won’t return to Netflix, it will remain available on HBO Max.
Lord of the Rings has been a bit like a yo-yo when it comes to Netflix. The films have come and gone from the platform, and it seems like they might be leaving for good this time. However, you can still catch them streaming on other platforms.
So, if you’re a fan of the franchise, don’t despair quite yet.
All three Lord of the Rings movies are now playing on HBO Max in both the original and extended versions. But in many countries outside the US, some of the movies can still be found on Netflix, including Canada, the Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil, India, Mexico, Spain, South Africa and South Korea.

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