New Line: Lord of the Rings or Last Action Hero?

Studio fires marketing chief, struggles to project identity
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2007 12:01 PM CDT
New Line: Lord of the Rings or Last Action Hero?
This photo released by New Line Productions shows actors, from left, Dominic Monaghan as Merry, Elijah Wood as Frodo, Billy Boyd as Pippin and Sean Astin as Sam in a scene from New Line Cinema's "The Lord of the Rings   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The movie business' sepia-haired stepchild New Line Cinema fired its chief marketing officer this week—signaling that execs are blistering for fundamental change. After 40 years, New Line has lost its cutting-edge credibility to the Indies, and is ranked dead last in box-office revenue among the majors, the LA Times reports.

The “Lord of the Rings” picture house had a a hit with "Hairspray" this month, but the rest of its short docket has fizzled with box-office flops, re-shoots, and re-edited endings. As speculation flies that parent Time Warner may revoke New Line’s autonomy, the studio is turning to a curious program of risks—including a sequel to the unprofitable "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle." (Read more New Line Cinema stories.)

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