Tolkien Estate sues New Line over Lord of the Rings Profits

So who is the Lord of the Lord of the Rings.  According to copyright law, the estate of JRR Tolkien is the rightful owner to those works and therefore they had to make a deal to let New Line make these movies.  And they claim New Line didn’t pay their share, so they are suing them.

M&C report:

The estate Lord of the Rings creator JRR Tolkien sued New Line Cinema on Monday for 150 million dollars, claiming the Hollywood studio cheated it out of a share of the profits from the movie trilogy that earned billions of dollars.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles also sought to strip New Line of the right to make any more movies based on Tolkien’s work – endangering New Line’s plans to produce two Hobbit movies over the next two years.

I find it convenient that they sat quietly swimming in the unearned money Grandpa Tolkien got them until the dust settled on the Hobbit prequels.  Then the ball gets rolling in earnest on the Hobbit and suddenly the vacation is over and they make a pitstop at the lawyer’s place before laying down before the bulldozer.

I do think that the estate of Tolkien deserves their fair cut from the films and if they are not being given their contractual due then yes, New Line should own up to it.  Seems a little like good timing to bring up the issue now that the fate of two MORE money making giants appear to be headed into production.  Of which they no doubt would ALSO earn their 7.5% of.   They are holding this production ransom to force what they want.  I don’t even know if they are legit in their claims.

This just makes me sick of all the bad mojo surrounding this franchise.  Its like watching kids fight on the playground, making up just so they can start a different fight.  Just get it solved so you can go back to doing what we all WANT you to do.  Make movies.

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10 thoughts on “Tolkien Estate sues New Line over Lord of the Rings Profits

  1. boo for talentless hacks who are related to people who actually did something. now to survive, these douche bags have to milk the cold stiff nipples of one JRR Tolkien for nourishment. And they have done it 150 million times too many. Screw them New Line! use your corporate powers smite these losers and their “estate”.

  2. I read an article on another sight about this and a poster who commented something I thought was appropriate. He said, “Looks like the power of The One Ring is alive and well.” And I couldn’t agree more.

  3. As much as its frustrating from a fans perspective to have a delay in the production of something they want, I can only echo the sentiments of others and say that there are bigger issues at stake here then fans desire to immediately gratify their desires. If in fact New Line’s practices are again proving less than honest then give the estate some support in their struggle, don’t jump all over the victim.

  4. I don’t think the author of this article understands Hollywood. The movie studios use “creative” accounting methods to under-report a movie’s gross and to keep it from showing a profit. They do this to cheat people out of their due. Usually this thing would drag out forever in the courts, however, Tolkien Enterprises is fortunate that New Line wants to make a sequel because this gives them some legal clout. A court can issue an injunction to stop the production if New Line doesn’t come across with the dough. What New Line will eventually do is negotiate a deal that’s probably half of what Tolkien Enterprises should have gotten and add that expense to the budget of The Hobbit to keep that film from ever showing a profit. This is business as usual for Hollywood and it’s a lot more than two kids fighting in a sandbox.

  5. There is more that many people do not know.

    JRR Tolkien’s son, Christopher who runs the Tolkien estate is a univerally hated miser who has a reputation as a mean and nasty guy.

    His own son, JRR’s grandson, came out against him publicly and supported the New Line LOTR movies when Christopher condemned them.

    Christopher then disowned his son, JRR’s grandson, and cut him off from the Tolkien Estate.

    This is what they are dealing with here.

  6. This issue is a lot larger than you think guys. The Tolkien estate had NOTHING to do with the LOTR movies whatsoever.

    The “media” rights to the LOTR trilogy do NOT belong to the Tolkien Estate but to a company called Tolkien Enterprises.

    Tolkien enterprises has had the rights to the LOTR trilogy for a long time and licenses them out for all the videogames and other popular media.

    JRR’s son, who runs the Tolkien estate has been trying to get those rights back for decades and has been against Everything they have used the LOTR license for Including the 3 movies.

    The reason I know all of this is because I was an avid player of the Lord of the Rings Online PC game and they have gone through the same issues.
    The LOTRO game is licensed through Tolkien Enterprises and they ONLY have the rights to the 3 books of the trilogy.

    The Tolkien Estate does Not approve of the game and will Not give them the license to JRR Tolkien’s other works.

    I think the Tolkien Estate is getting involved Now because they want to try to stake their claim and forcibly get the distribution rights back for the books.
    Also, I think they want to get some control and have a part in the Hobbit since they missed out on being a part of the first 3 movies.

    Anyone else know any more on htis subject?

  7. its not kids fighting in the playground rodney.

    its a studio ripping people off and the people they are fucking not putting up with it anymore.

    saying its like kids fighting is almost saying asll parties are to blame but the only people causing any bad mojo are new line and while they do deserve full credit for having the balls to make the trilgoy it does look like they have been ripping people off all over the show…

    actors took them to court…
    peter jackson took them to court….
    now the estate……

    where there is smoke there is fire and new lines accounting practices are billowing up clouds the size of mt helen.

    it is not a good time for new line. the word is shayes job is seriously on the line and that they are in big financial trouble.

    despite the fact golden compass made over 300 million they still lost money big time as they totally over spent on it.

  8. I doubt that they had been sitting quietly over this issue until now. It’s been going on for a while and the blame again goes to New Line Cinema.

  9. The article stated that New Line has not let the Tolkien estate audit the last two movies. Same thing they did with Peter Jackson. Looks like New Line wants to keep all the money from the only hits they’ve had in years.

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