The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug has been the most-viewed movie at the box office since it premiered last week, and that’s probably good. They have an estimated 140 million of your dollars so far, but you should probably keep on handing them over just in case, because this might be the last film in the franchise.
Yup, that’s right. Even though There And Back Again is supposed to be the second movie in the Hobbit trilogy, plans for that third film in the franchise might get scrapped if the producers can’t get their shit together. Apparently there’s fighting happening between Miramax executives Harvey and Bob Weinstein and New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Entertainment over who exactly gets the profits from this extremely lucrative franchise.
Harvey and Bob sold the rights to the J.R.R. Tolkien book The Hobbit to the two companies back in August 1998, with the stipulation that they were entitled to 5% of the profits of ‘the first motion picture’ based on the book, which was designed to exclude any remakes. Apparently they didn’t figure on the movie being broken up into three parts though, because once it was, they just assumed they’d be on the same page with New Line and Warner Bros. about who should be making that money.
But nope! Not on the same page at all! New Line and Warner Bros. paid the Weinsteins for the first movie upon its release last year, but have shared no earnings since, claiming that the second and third movie in the sequence, though all derived from the same book, are not included in the terms of the original agreement. And since they haven’t been able to settle it on their own, both parties will likely be going to court, after a motion was filed by the Weinsteins alleging that the two companies:
“Have repudiated and refused to acknowledge their obligation to pay [the Weinsteins] their rightful contingent compensation for the second and third installments of The Hobbit.”
The movie’s premiere date has already been delayed once — from July 18th, 2014, to December 17th, 2014, so there’s really no telling how long we’ll have to wait to see this movie, if the producers can’t pull it together. Here’s hoping we see it at all.