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December 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Harvey and Bob Weinstein have filed suit against Warner Bros. over revenue for the final two installments of The Hobbit franchise, The Desolation of Smaug, which opens this weekend, as well as There and Back Again. Warner Bros. has claimed that the studio only owes the Weinsteins profit participation in the original Hobbit movie and not in any sequel. A statement by Warner Bros. said, “This is about one of the great blunders in movie history. Fifteen years ago, Miramax, run by the Weinstein brothers, sold its rights in The Hobbit to New Line. No amount of trying to rewrite history can change that fact. They agreed to be paid only on the first motion picture based on The Hobbit. And that’s all they’re owed.” However, the Weinsteins claim that the second and third pictures are not “sequels” at all, but part of the same book. The :Hollywood Reporter has published what would appear to be a significant clause in the 1998 agreement that seems to back the Weinsteins, which says in part, “A motion picture shall be deemed to be a picture based on the book The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again if either a) the main story line of the book is substantially the main story line of the picture, or b) the events or incidents in the picture are primarily the events or incidents from the book and the picture has both the characters Smaug the Dragon and Thorin the Dwarf (or other characters which would satisfy their story functions) or Bilbo Bagins [sic] as the lead character, or c) the title or subtitle of the picture is The Hobbit or Hobbit is any part of the title or subtitle of the picture.”