Disney Is Removing All Lord Of The Rings Content From Streaming

By Jason Collins | Updated

lord of the rings

While Disney has been adding several different movie titles to its Disney+ and Hulu platforms, there are plenty of titles that are leaving as well, and Lord of the Rings movies are among the removed content. This isn’t all that surprising, considering Disney’s cost-cutting measures and the fact that movies and television releases constantly move between streaming platforms.

It’s worth noting that not all Lord of the Rings movies are leaving Disney’s platforms; only three releases are being removed, and they don’t actually belong to the same trilogy. It would seem that Disney decided to remove Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Return of the King —the second and third movies of the original Peter Jackson trilogy from Hulu.

When Do The Movies Leave Hulu?

The same applies to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first film of the second Peter Jackson trilogy that serves as a prequel to Lord of the Rings. All three movies will be removed from Hulu on September 30, according to Hulu’s press release.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,

This raises questions about the remaining films from their respective The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and whether or not they remain on the platform. As it turns out, they do, but they’re only accessible through Max (formerly known as HBO Max) subscription add-on.

The removal of Lord of the Rings movies from the Disney platform is likely prompted by expired contracts and licensing deals, though we have to mention the removal of certain titles as means of cost-cutting.

Lord Of The Rings Is Still On Max

In the meantime, both Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies are expected to remain on Max for the time being, though it’s entirely possible for the right holders to license the movies to other streaming platforms as well—though this is only a speculation at this point.

While licensing and cost-cutting might explain the removal of Lord of the Rings movies from Disney’s streaming platforms, the complexities surrounding licensing and streaming are becoming increasingly complicated, especially when it comes to streaming residuals.

This includes payments made to actors, writers, directors, and some other personnel when a movie or TV show is replayed beyond its original airing or release. This is something that has been one of the contentious points of WGA and SAG-AFTRA’s ongoing strike, especially since the rise of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and others.

For more context, ever since streaming took over as a primary form of cinematic and television entertainment, there’s been a need to determine how residuals should be paid for content that is streamed rather than broadcast.

Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings Content

It’s unclear, and highly unlikely, at least thus far, that streaming residuals have anything to do with the removal of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies from Disney and Hulu. It’s also worth noting that Max, Disney, and Hulu aren’t the only streaming platforms currently streaming Lord of the Rings content; Amazon Prime’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, basically a prequel to Peter Jackson trilogies, should receive its second season sometime in 2024.