Hobbit films' creators caught in new lawsuit

Martin Freeman, left, and John Callen in a scene from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Mark Pokorny)
Martin Freeman, left, and John Callen in a scene from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Mark Pokorny)

Harvey and Bob Weinstein have sued Warner Bros.' New Line Cinema claiming they're owned a share of the profits from the second and third Hobbit films.

In a suit filed Wednesday in New York, the Weinsteins say their 1998 sale of the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy to New Line applies to all subsequent Hobbit films. Warner Bros. elected to split The Hobbit into three films, the second of which opens in theaters Friday.

Warner Bros. responded with a statement calling Weinstein's sale of The Hobbit rights "one of the great blunders in movie history.''

The studio says the Weinsteins and Miramax agreed to be paid only for the first film based on The Hobbit, and it says "that's all they're owed.''

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