Word on the the streets is that the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien has now had to sue New Line Cinemas in order to receive what they claim was 7.5% of the $6 billion that Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy made. Allegedly they only received a $62,500 up front fee and have been trying to negotiate for the rest ever since. Apparently, New Line won’t let them see the books to verify how much money was made. This is exactly the probablem that Peter Jackson had with the company and already delayed the making of The Hobbit for three years. It also reminds me somewhat of the way the producers handled negotiations with the writer’s guild, in that they claimed that they weren’t sure if new media (the internet) would be profitable, so they’d rather pay a small fixed fee to the writers than a percentage. Isn’t a percentage of nothing still nothing? Apparently not in Hollywood producer math. I don’t know how much involvement fellow Gargoyle alumnus Bob Shaye has had in this, but if it’s not his fault he really needs to clean house.
Where Did These Guys Learn to do Business?