Someone has to pay for that $1 billion "Lord of the Rings" prequel series. It ain't gonna be Jeff Bezos.



Bezos is the wealthiest person in the world right now, but don't go thinking the Amazon boss doesn't want more. The company just bumped up the price of Amazon Prime subscriptions -- again.



During a first-quarter earnings call on Thursday, Amazon announced that the price of the streaming service and two-day delivery package will go up 20 percent from $99 to $119 per year. The change is effective May 11, which is two weeks from now.



Amazon previously raised its annual subscription cost from $79 to $99 in 2014. In January, the monthly subscription rate went up from $10.99 to $12.99.



















Some fans are jokingly -- or not -- connecting this rate increase to the "Lord of the Rings" prequel series in development at Amazon. They have to go into production on that within two years per the deal with the Tolkien estate. The plan is currently for five seasons, and a possible spinoff, with total expenses heading north of $1 billion.



It's shaping up to be the most expensive series of all time, and there's already a lot of buzz around it. So between needing more money to make the series, and figuring fans will be curious enough to pay to watch the series, you could fairly wonder if LOTR is indeed involved in this price hike.







Before Amazon goes for its own "Game of Thrones" dominance with a "Lord of the Rings" series, it already has trademark series like "The Man in the High Castle" and the now ending "Mozart in the Jungle." There are also Amazon Studios movies like "Last Flag Flying" -- starring Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne -- coming to Amazon Prime on May 4. But is that enough?

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