Weinsteins Sue Warner Bros Over 3-Part Hobbit Film

They say it was a plot to deprive them of money

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 12, 2013 12:37 PM CST

(Newser) – If you thought you were annoyed when you heard Warner Bros. was turning a 300-page children's book into three epic movies, well, you're probably not quite as annoyed as the Weinstein brothers. In fact, Bob and Harvey are suing Warner over the decision to make three Hobbit movies, the BBC reports. They sold their Miramax rights to the story to New Line (a Warner company) in 1998, with an agreement that they would be paid for the "first motion picture." Now the Weinsteins say the studio decided to make the story into a trilogy "solely to deprive" them of any money from the second and third installments.

They want at least $75 million, claiming that Warner Bros. set out to keep 5% of the gross receipts from films two and three from them. They insist the case "is about greed and ingratitude," but a rep for Warner Bros. has a different take on the situation, per Reuters: "This is about one of the great blunders in movie history. Fifteen years ago Miramax, run by the Weinstein brothers, sold its rights in The Hobbit to New Line. No amount of trying to rewrite history can change that fact." The second installment of the series is out tomorrow.

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Ian McKellen in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."   (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Mark Pokorny)
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