Monday, November 20, 2006

New Line Dumps Peter Jackson From "The Hobbit"

Director Peter Jackson and New Line have been in deep discussions about filming two "Hobbit" movies as soon as 2008. But since Jackson has been suing New Line -- claiming they owe him tens of millions of dollars from the trilogy, New Line has decided to dump him from the project. The One Ring website broke the news with an email directly from Jackson himself saying New Line had called to tell him ta-ta for now. Some news reports have suggested Jackson believed he was cheated out of upwards of $100 million on the trilogy. But say Jackson could have been placated with $50 million and a clearer arrangement on the new movies. Why endanger two films that would gross easily $1.5 billion at the box office ALONE (and that's being conservative), not to mention massive DVD sales, etc for a total gross of, very roughly $3 billion? Why endanger all of that over $50 million you probably owed him anyway? If the two movies cost $700 million to make and market (that's $300 mil per movie -- both shot at once of course -- and a massive $400 mil in marketing, which is very aggressive), that's still $2.3 billion in profits to be divied up among the studios, Jackson, the actors and so on. Round it down to $2 billion. They've endangered $2 billion by worrying about $50 million. That's practically a minor accounting error when the figures get that large. Crazy.

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