There seems to be a lot of money-related issues surrounding the Lord of the Rings trilogy. First, there was the lawsuit between Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema regarding Jackson’s share of the profits, and in 2008 the Tolkien trust filed a similar case regarding their share as well.
However, unlike Jackson the trust owned the rights to The Hobbit, and their lawsuit stopped New Line Cinema from making the film until a settlement had been reached between the two parties.
In the lawsuit, the Tolkien trust claimed they were owed millions out of the $6 billion earned from the Lord of the Rings trilogy through ticket, merchandise, and DVD sales. The trust was paid an initial amount of $62,500 for the entire trilogy with 7.5% of the gross receipts. Except, New Line Cinema didn’t really pay the amount to the Tolkien heirs, and they got pissed.
Now, it has been announced that there has been an out-of-court settlement between the studio and the trust. The official paperwork has yet to be filed in the Los Angeles courts.
New Line Cinema must be very happy that they can proceed with The Hobbit. It seems like the studio got a little greedy with the profits they made from the series. Perhaps on the two-part Hobbit film, they will do a little better with paying the full percentage of the money they owe. They may want to take a hint from the first three movies and avoid this headache next time.
What do you think? Are you excited for The Hobbit?