Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is the first film to debut on the platform, as reported by Variety. Warner Bros. has partnered with Eluvio to release the film on Friday, October 21.
Two editions will be released; the Mystery Edition will set you back $30 while the Epic Edition will cost you $100 but they’re only releasing 999 of those. Both editions include the extended edition of the film, as well as hours upon hours of bonus material. There will also be hidden AR collectibles.
The Epic Edition will also include three different navigation menus that are designed after locations in the film – the Shire, Rivendell and Mines of Moria, while the Mystery Edition will only include one of these, chosen at random.
If you, like myself, still don’t really get what an NFT is, this is all very confusing and increasingly silly. WB and Eluvio are calling their new endeavour a “living movie experience”, setting it apart from simply owning another copy of it. As more and more cinemas are diverting to offering a luxury cinema experience, is this the home entertainment version of that?
No other releases have been announced yet, but Jessica Schell, GM and EVP, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment said: “First and foremost, we’re always looking at ways to delight and surprise our movie fans and collectors, and that’s especially true for ‘The Lord of the Rings.”
She added: “It lets fans experience the movie in a whole new way.”
The release comes just as Amazon’s The Rings of Power series has wrapped its first season. The popular, but divisive series has brought Lord of the Rings back into the cultural consciousness and WB seems to be cashing in on this.
As the streaming wars continue and Halloween Ends has premiered both in cinemas and on streaming simultaneously in the US, are NFTs the way forward for films? It remains to be seen if other studios will follow WB’s example and go where no studio has gone before: the land of NFTs.