$75 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Warner Bros. Over 'The Hobbit' Profits

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By Katrina Dianne Gimenez | December 13, 2013 3:16 AM EST

Miramax filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. Entertainment for proceeds from the upcoming second and third installment of "The Hobbit" Tuesday, Dec. 10.

The dispute was due to a contract between Warner Bros. and Miramax over rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's book "The Hobbit." The said contract gave rights to Miramax to a portion of profits from the first "Hobbit" movie. Warner Bros. split "The Hobbit" into three films, instigating a lawsuit from Miramax.

Miramax alleged in its complaint that it is entitled to a portion of the proceeds from the upcoming sequels. It further asserted that Warner Bros. demonstrated "greed and ingratitude" when it divided the story.

The claim could amount to $75 Million or more, estimated Miramax.

Warner Bros. responded by saying that Miramax' decision was one of the great mistakes in movie history.

"This is about one of the greatest blunders in movie history," said Warner Bros. spokesperson Paul McGuire in a statement after the filing of the lawsuit against it. "Fifteen years ago Miramax, run by the Weinstein brothers, sold its rights in The Hobbit to New Line. No amount of trying to rewrite the history can change that fact. They agreed to be paid only on the first motionpicture based on The Hobbit. And that's all they're owed."

The parties are currently in arbitration over the dispute.

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug", the second movie in the Hobbit Trilogy opens this weekend Dec. 13 while the third installment is expected to open in December 2014.

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