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
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)

(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.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
Dec 13, 2013 11:11 AM CST
Dec 13, 2013 9:40 AM CST
I want a do over on all the stupid decisions I have ever made too! (Both of them)
Dec 13, 2013 9:29 AM CST
So are they implying that if the Hobbit was made into a single move that 3x as many people would have gone to see it? New line carefully worded the contract to leave this possibility open and they agreed to the terms at the stated price so... tough luck?