Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. says the second “The Hobbit” movie, set to be released on Friday, actually constitutes a remake.
Powerhouse movie exec Harvey Weinstein and his brother sued Warner Brothers Wednesday for $ 75 million over the studio’s decision to divide their “The Hobbit” film into three installments and refuse to pay the Weinsteins their share of revenue for the whole project.
“This case is about greed and ingratitude,” the Weinsteins fume in the first line of the suit filed in Manhattan state Supreme Court.
The suit stems from a 1998 deal where the Weinsteins sold film rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s books to New Line Cinema Corporation, a unit of Time Warner.
Court papers said the Weinsteins had already invested $ 10 million developing a film adaptation of the books and to compensate them for that, New Line agreed to pay 5% of gross receipts for the “first motion picture” based on the books.
Chris Pizzello/Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Harvey Weinstein has filed a $ 75 million suit against Warner Bros. for their “The Hobbit” series.
However, the contract specified that the Weinsteins would not be paid for “remakes.”
Time Warners’ lawyers have taken the position that the second film in its Peter Jackson helmed-Hobbit series, due to be released Friday, and a third film coming later are actually “remakes.”
The Weinsteins argue in court papers that “the three part motion picture collectively tells the entire story of The Hobbit” and they should get a share of revenue from the second and third film.
Harvey and Robert Weinstein, both New York residents, sued on behalf of themselves and their company, Miramax LLC.
The defendants are New Line and Time Warner.