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‘The Lord of the Rings’ Films Are Next Victims of Disney’s Streaming Purge

Lord of the Rings Hulu
Credit: New Line Cinema

The world has changed. Much that once was is lost, but everyone is still alive to remember it, and boy, are they mad at Disney. The company has taken a surgical knife to its streaming services this year. Nothing has been safe from possible removal in the name of saving costs. Anything could be on the chopping block if it isn’t a glorified hit. Suprisingly, the iconic The Lord of the Rings franchise is the next major victim of this purge.

Disney streaming costs

Credit: Disney

Disney Purges Streaming Content

In May, the Walt Disney Company suddenly removed a ton of content across Hulu and Disney+. Some of these offerings had not been on the platforms for more than a few months. Furthermore, many of them were expensive endeavors that never got the chance to thrive. Most notably, the Willow series on Disney+ got the axe after only a few months. This reboot show cost Disney over $100 million dollars, and it is no longer available to watch.

The Disney+ movie Crater (2023) was also gutted from streaming in barely a month. While Disney has not made any official comments on why certain content was removed, it has mentioned reassessing offerings to cut costs across the company. Fans have criticized these actions, as removing content leaves fewer options available to consume. Audiences stress that offering less content gives them little reason to continue paying a subscription for the service.

Many people have already started abandoning Disney+ and Hulu. This comes at a time when Disney has announced a second subscription rate increase in less than a year. CEO Bob Iger has also clarified that the company’s plan to provide more quality content involves releasing less of it in the process. This hasn’t exactly given hope to many to continue using its streaming platforms. Furthermore, the total costs associated with this purge have been astronomical.

The One Ring of Middle Earth

Credit: New Line Cinema

Hulu Removes The Lord of the Rings Movies

In a recent press release by Hulu, new additions to the service were highlighted amongst expiring offerings. On September 30, Hulu is set to remove the only three The Lord of the Rings franchise films available on its platform. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the second and third films in the famous trilogy, are on the chopping block. The first film in the Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will also leave Hulu.

Hulu

Credit: Disney

While the films were originally released under New Line Cinema, they are owned by Warner Bros. Discovery after the parent company merged the studio. Warner Bros. Discovery owns Max (previously HBO Max), and all The Lord of the Rings films are currently available on the platform. They will also likely remain there even as they leave Hulu.

However, it is important to note that there is no official confirmation that Disney is simply purging these films. They could just as likely be leaving due to expired contracts and licensing deals. Nevertheless, Disney’s latest track record doesn’t do it any favors.

Those looking to watch The Lord of the Rings franchise films after September 30 can still access them on Max. Furthermore, Amazon Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is also available to stream on the competitor service.

About Michael Stoyanoff

Michael is a Disney fan with an entertainment background and passion for writing. Living in Orlando, he has been around the theme parks for over a decade. In his free time he enjoys running, playing video games, and traveling the world. He also loves hanging out with his dog, Mr. Pippers the Pug.

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