The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy is now on Netflix, but fans shouldn't get overly excited as it's possible they might not stay on the streaming service for too long - perhaps not even until the end of the year. As is the case with all streaming platforms and premium networks, movies old and new tend to come and go every month. Sometimes an entire franchise gets added to the list, as Harry Potter did for HBO in the past, but then those movies disappear after a few months.
Things have changed and are on the verge of changing even more due to the fact that virtually every major media company is planning to release their own streaming service. In addition to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, there's CBS All Access, Disney+, Apple TV+, Peacock (NBCUniversal), and HBO Max (WarnerMedia), among a few others. And all of those companies plan on taking back their content from Netflix and Amazon Prime for their own platforms, including WarnerMedia, which owns Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema.
For the first time in a long time, the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy is available to stream on Netflix, but with HBO Max - a service that will contain original content as well as the studio's (presumably entire) backlog of films and TV shows - launching in spring 2020, it's certainly possible that they will stream the Lord of the Rings movies themselves. WarnerMedia executives have previously discussed retaining their content, and the Lord of the Rings movies are unquestionably popular enough to potentially boost the number of initial subscribers.
If for some reason Lord of the Rings doesn't go to HBO Max when it launches next year, then it's possible that the trilogy may go to Amazon Prime Video. Two years ago, they picked up the global rights to the franchise and immediately confirmed plans to produce a full-fledged Lord of the Rings TV series - one that could very well spawn spinoff shows - that will take place during the Second Age of Middle-earth. So in order to build interest in the series, they may want to stream the Lord of the Rings movies themselves. It's not a far-fetched idea.
Regardless of whether or not the Lord of the Rings trilogy leaves Netflix for HBO Max or Amazon Prime Video, it may ultimately move to another service or network. Last year, The Two Towers and Return of the King both moved from Hulu to Starz before eventually finding their way to Netflix and joining The Fellowship of the Ring. And as for that first film, it arrived on Netflix at the start of 2018 and was removed shortly thereafter, only to return to the platform later that year. So it's clear the Lord of the Rings movies move around quite a bit.