Tolkien Family Reimbursed

They won against New Line. 150 mil isn’t a shabby day’s work.

Sounds like Time Warner tried to pull the usual fraud and pretend they didn’t make any profit off the trilogy so as to avoid paying the Tolkien family’s contractual share.

Total shitbags. (Not the Tolkiens.)

I can’t get that link to load, so, reimbursed for what? Did they put money into the movies and ask for it back?

They were entitled to 7.5% of gross receipts… they got paid nothing. It is common practice in Hollywood to use creative accounting to prove that your blockbuster movie in fact did not make any money, so you don’t have to pay any of the investors, or other entitled parties. I highly recommend reading The Big Picture by Edward Epstein to get an idea of the creative accounting that goes on in Hollywood.

Erik J.

Total shitbags. (Not the Tolkiens.)

My understanding is that it’s pretty standard. If you agree to take points off the back end profits of a movie, you’re basically fucking yourself in the ass. Get your money up front.

Yeah, I understand that, I was just confused by ‘reimbursed’ in the thread title, which implies they’d contributed money and were given some back.

Seems like there’d be a bit of a difference between a percentage of net profits and a percentage of gross receipts. Not sure exactly how creative accounting can help with the latter, since expenses and the like oughtn’t matter if you’re talking about receipts.

Isn’t this pretty much what they tried to do to Jackson, too?

most of the cast actually, I seem to remember

It’s an interesting turn of events because as far as Tolkien himself was concerned, he did get the money up front way back when he sold the movie rights 40+ years ago. Of course, he didn’t think that movies could be made that would live up to the books and that if they were made they wouldn’t do that well.

And Jackson’s beef was over how RotK was handled as he did get a lot of money from the first two films, IIRC.

I read an article a while ago about how copyright was never intended to be this absurdly long payola for either the content creators or their heirs. Copyright was only intended to ensure that there was some kind of incentive to create new works.

On the one hand, Christopher Tolkien has obviously done a ton of work on his fathers material, and he certainly deserves money for things like Children of Hurin, etc.

On the other hand, it was the movie companies that did all the recent work to actually create something that would entertain people, employ people, and make money.

What’s ironic is that even though I’m defending the movie companies, they wouldn’t actually agree with me that copyright should be more limited because they want almost perpetual rights to continue to milk their “intellectual property” for way too long.

Yet another way that the powerful interests have subverted what’s best for everybody.

It’s true that copyright wasn’t originally intended to be extended this long, but the ability of our media to proliferate things for so long didn’t exist at the time, either. Consider VHS and its successors. I think Disney was one of the bigger, if not the biggest, motivators for extending copyright so much, though in their case, I can’t blame them.

Oh good, a copyright thread! Someone go fetch cliffski out of his kennel.

FWIW, copyright was originally an industry regulation on the book publishing industry to keep publishers from poaching works off each other. Content creator rights were irrelevant.

When are we going to get someone in government that recognizes the public domain status of Mickey?

It’s like clock work, every time Mickey is a few years from falling into public domain, Disney lobbies hard for the extension. Honestly it’s sick, 99 years, seriously?

About time - film companies like to play accounting games where they have to pay themselves and pretend like the money they paid themselves doesn’t count as profit, so anyone getting net profit participation gets screwed. I figured this was the case with Tolkien, but it’s especially shameful that they tried to weasel out of a gross participation payout. Loved the films, but despised that they literally hadn’t paid the Tolkien estate a single penny, and even had the nerve to brag that they never would. I had no intention of coming near The Hobbit film if things had remained as they were.

When the Mickey franchise is no longer drawing in enough money to continue bribing government (oooo, sorry…making significant contributions to their re-election campaigns).

It was originally designed for books. Are you suggesting that VHS and DVD have longer shelf lives than books???

No, cliffski needs to be working on the bugs and balance issues in GSB. Shut yo’ mouth. ;)