Thursday, February 21, 2008

A minor little public relations gaffe

People were really really happy when the Lord of the Rings trilogy made it to the big screen. But, unfortunately for New Line Cinema, they didn't please a few people. And doubly unfortunately, those people have the last name Tolkien.

Ben Witherington notes:

[T]he Tolkien heirs are suing New Line Cinema for a cool 150 million dollars. It is reported that the three movies all in all made some 6 billion dollars world wide!

The New York Times took some time out from dredging stuff about John McCain to report:

"The Tolkien suit may prove to be especially troublesome for New Line, if only because it has the earmarks of a public relations nightmare. The plaintiffs include a charitable trust that is overseen by family members of the author, who died in 1973, and includes among its beneficiaries worthy organizations like the Darfur Appeal and the World Cancer Research Foundation.

In a complaint filed on Monday in the Los Angeles Superior Court, the trustees and others say they have never received a penny from a 39-year-old agreement that they say promises 7.5 percent of the gross revenue from any films based on Tolkien’s famous novels. New Line, whose spokeswoman declined to comment on the suit, is accused, among other things, of defrauding the Tolkiens by improperly deducting more than $100 million per film in payments to the Zaentz company and Miramax from the pool from which the trust and others would be paid."

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