Studio Settles with Tolkien Estate

Maybe The Lord of the Rings movies made a weensy bit of money after all? New Line Cinema has settled the suit brought by the Tolkien Trust and HarperCollins:

The estate of fantasy writer J.R.R Tolkien has reached a settlement with the studio behind the “Lord of the Rings” movies after alleging it had not received “even one penny” of royalties from the trilogy of money-spinning films, officials said Tuesday.

The legal dispute had threatened to disrupt production of “The Hobbit,” the eagerly anticipated prequel to the “Lord of the Rings” which is due to begin filming in 2010….

Lawyers had been seeking 150 million dollars in compensatory damages, punitive damages and the right to strip New Line of its right to make any further films based on Tolkien’s work, including the “The Hobbit.”

Terms of the settlement will not be announced.

Francis Hamit sent in the link with this comment: “The film industry actually did not invent the ‘rolling break-even point.’  That was earlier used by book publishers to defraud novelists like Anthony Trollope.”