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via Warner Bros.

Disney removing the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th entries in a 6-film saga from streaming next month

You'll need two subscriptions to complete a marathon.

Although we’re not privy to the complicated world of streaming contracts and distribution deals, it would be a lot handier if the entirety of any given franchise was available to watch in the one place. While that’s technically true when it comes to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, Hulu subscribers that don’t have a Max account are probably going to be left spitting feathers.

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As of the 30th of next month, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will no longer be part of the content library on the Disney-owned platform, which does admittedly make sense in a way when those were already the only ones available to customers without having to pay extra for a Max add-on to an existing payment plan.

the hobbit the battle of the five armies
via New Line Cinema

With The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power exclusive to Prime Video and more Middle-earth content in the works at WB, the remnants of J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology are going to end up being scattered to the four winds of streaming, which is maddening if nothing else.

As nice as it would be for every major player in the streaming wars to corral complete sagas in the one place, it’s going to be a long time before we reach those fabled days. Nobody really accounted for the on-demand circuit to blow up in the way that it has, leaving a jumbled mess of small print and red tape that’s making it increasingly difficult to watch an entire multi-film story from beginning to end without having to weaponize at least two monthly fees to do so.

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Scott Campbell
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