Hobbit Suit Brings Weinstein Brothers to Arbitration
Thursday, February, 20, 2014
Movie-making brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein have been ordered into arbitration for their legal conflict about profits from The Hobbit film franchise. The brothers are currently entrenched in a $75 million suit but a judge has ordered the case to be resolved outside of court.
The suit was filed by the brothers in December 2013 against New Line Cinema Corporation. Both claimed that they are owed funds to the successful film franchise according to an agreement they have from 1998. In that agreement, the Weinstein brothers were supposed to receive five percent of gross receipts to the first motion picture of the novel. The Weinsteins believe that because they made the decision to turn the story into a trilogy, they are owed the additional earnings from the other movies in the franchise. The wording of the agreement will be the critical factor in determining whether the brothers are entitled to their percentage of the second and third movies, but that decision is now up to an arbitrator.
The brothers had wanted the case to be heard openly in court, but Judge Eileen Bransten denied that request, wanting both parties to go through dispute resolution talks first in good faith. The first movie grossed more than $1 billion around the world, and the second more has earned more than $860 million since it came into theaters at the end of 2013. The Weinstein brothers have currently been denied any payment from the second movie. The third part of the trilogy is expected to hit theaters towards the end of 2014.