The Weinstein Brothers have failed in their attempt to claim millions in profits from the Hobbit movie sequels. New York arbitrator Bernard J. Fried ruled last Friday that the Weinsteins were not entitled to the $75 million which they had sought in royalties.
While not artistically necessary and requiring the addition of a great deal of material from other books as well as original characters, Peter Jackson chose to split The Hobbit into three films. Even if the quality of the movies suffered because of it this proved to be the smart business move because Jackson and Warner Brothers Studios made a fortune in the process. Just multiply however much they made off of the first film in the series by three.
Well the Weinstein Brothers, who were involved in the Oscar winning Lord of the Rings Trilogy, wanted a share of that money. They did receive a share of the profits from the first Hobbit movie which was released in 2012. But the brothers also felt that they deserved a cut of the two sequels too, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, ” released last year, and this year’s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”
Last Year Bob and Harvey Weinstein filed suit complaining that the decision to split the Hobbit into three films somehow denied them a full share in the profits.
“Warner’s position is simply an improper attempt to deprive the people originally responsible for hugely successful films being made from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien of their right to share in revenue from two of the three filmed installments of Tolkien’s The Hobbit, ” said the law suit.
But Warner Brothers responded that the Weinsteins sold their share of the rights already and were fairly paid for it and are now just trying to get more money. The sale was made before the brothers sold MiraMax and founded their new company. Warner Brothers maintained that the fees that it paid the Weinsteins for the first Hobbit film were all that was owed to them.
Apparently the arbiter agreed.