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Monday, February 11, 2008

Making of The Hobbit - Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire

Image of New Line Cinema as Smaug the Dragon from the novel The Hobbit Just like the title Chapter 6 of The Hobbit, "Out Of the Frying Pan and into the Fire" and making up The Hobbit movie has just recently jumped out of the frying and into the fire.  Peter Jackson, who directed the original trilogy, ended his lawsuit against New Line movie studios and took on the role of an executive producer for the movie of the prelude to the trilogy called the Hobbit.  That gave the green light to start making the movie until the charitable trusts that owns the rights to all of the Lord Of the Rings books including the hobbit filed a lawsuit against New Line Cinema today for $150 million.

According to an agreement that dates back to the late 60s, a charitable trust of the late JRR Tolkien was to receive 7 1/2 percent on gross receipts less certain expenses.  They claim that they did not receive $150 million of that money from New Line Cinema and the first trilogy which has grossed over $6 billion worldwide.  There are now threatening to remove the rights to make the movie entirely from New Line Cinema.

Given all the lawsuits you have to question in considering whether or not New Line Cinema has accounting practices that are up to par.  Just like they say in the novel for the hobbit, sometimes where there's smoke there's fire and it's possible that New Line Cinema is the metaphorical dragon, Smaug (pronounced Smog).  It is hard to imagine that New Line would work so hard to torpedo the success of a 4th Middle Earth movie after hauling in $6 billion plus on the first three, but they seem to be making all the wrong moves first with Peter Jackson and now with the holder of the IP rights.  It might be time to check the pulse of the leader of this company and see if the bpm of the organization is still alive or if they are shuffling things around to prop up a serious problem.