The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
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14 items from 2006


Jackson won't helm 'Hobbit'

21 November 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Much to the distress of his fans, Peter Jackson has announced that he is no longer planning to direct The Hobbit, a prequel to his mega-successful Lord of the Rings trilogy, because of an ongoing accounting and legal dispute with New Line Cinema.

In a highly unusual move, revealing some of the behind-the-scenes moves in a high-stakes negotiation, Jackson spoke directly to his fan base during the weekend, posting his explanation of recent events on TheOneRing.net. The statement from both Jackson and his wife and fellow producer, Fran Walsh, concluded: "This outcome is not what we anticipated or wanted, but neither do we see any positive value in bitterness or rancor. We now have no choice but to let the idea of a film of 'The Hobbit' go and move forward with other projects."

The lawsuit that resulted in the current impasse originally was filed by Jackson's production company, Wingnut Films, in early 2005. It alleged that the studio gave affiliates favorable licensing deals and failed to properly calculate revenue from the DVD sales of 2001's "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."

As Jackson explained it to his fans, he did not want to discuss directing Hobbit with New Line until the legal/accounting issues were settled. New Line produced the three Rings movies, which have grossed $2.9 billion worldwide and won 17 Oscars, including best picture for 2003's The Return of the King.

In recent weeks, talk of the Hobbit project has reignited. While New Line holds an option on the film rights to the 1937 novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, MGM holds distribution rights. Only last week, MGM chairman and CEO Harry Sloan, speaking at the European Media Leaders Summit in London, said that he was talking with Jackson about making Hobbit and another prequel to Rings.

According to Jackson, New Line co-chairman Michael Lynne had told Ken Kamins, Jackson's manager, that New Line would settle the lawsuit if Jackson would commit to directing Hobbit.

But, Jackson explained, "We have also said that we do not want to tie settlement of the lawsuit to making a film of 'The Hobbit.' " He added, "In our minds, this is not the right reason to make a film, and if a film of 'The Hobbit' went ahead on that basis, it would be doomed." »

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Jackson tells fans of NL dispute

21 November 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Much to the distress of his fans, Peter Jackson has announced that he is no longer planning to direct The Hobbit, a prequel to his mega-successful Lord of the Rings trilogy, because of an ongoing accounting and legal dispute with New Line Cinema.

In a highly unusual move, revealing some of the behind-the-scenes moves in a high-stakes negotiation, Jackson spoke directly to his fan base during the weekend, posting his explanation of recent events on TheOneRing.net. The statement from both Jackson and his wife and fellow producer, Fran Walsh, concluded: "This outcome is not what we anticipated or wanted, but neither do we see any positive value in bitterness or rancor. We now have no choice but to let the idea of a film of 'The Hobbit' go and move forward with other projects."

The lawsuit that resulted in the current impasse originally was filed by Jackson's production company, Wingnut Films, in early 2005. It alleged that the studio gave affiliates favorable licensing deals and failed to properly calculate revenue from the DVD sales of 2001's "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."

As Jackson explained it to his fans, he did not want to discuss directing Hobbit with New Line until the legal/accounting issues were settled. New Line produced the three Rings movies, which have grossed $2.9 billion worldwide and won 17 Oscars, including best picture for 2003's The Return of the King.

In recent weeks, talk of the Hobbit project has reignited. While New Line holds an option on the film rights to the 1937 novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, MGM holds distribution rights. Only last week, MGM chairman and CEO Harry Sloan, speaking at the European Media Leaders Summit in London, said that he was talking with Jackson about making Hobbit and another prequel to Rings.

According to Jackson, New Line co-chairman Michael Lynne had told Ken Kamins, Jackson's manager, that New Line would settle the lawsuit if Jackson would commit to directing Hobbit.

But, Jackson explained, "We have also said that we do not want to tie settlement of the lawsuit to making a film of 'The Hobbit.' " He added, "In our minds, this is not the right reason to make a film, and if a film of 'The Hobbit' went ahead on that basis, it would be doomed." »

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Jackson Delays 'Halo' Movie

3 November 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson has agreed to put his big budget movie version of video game Halo on hold while he searches for a new studio. The Lord Of The Rings filmmaker had continued to shoot the joint project with Microsoft despite the financial withdrawal of Fox and Universal last month. But Jackson - who has handed directorial duties to Neill Blomkamp, and will be a executive producer - has pulled the plug, with the mutual agreement of Microsoft. He says, "We are confident that the final feature film will be well worth the wait." The two movie giants were thought to have pulled out because of a spiraling budget. »

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'Pirates' Breaks $1 Billion Barrier

11 September 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest has become only the third film to break through the $1 billion international box office barrier. The swashbuckling sequel - which stars Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom - now only trails Titanic and The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King in the history books. James Cameron's Titanic made $1.8 billion following its release in 1997, while the concluding part of Peter Jackson's trilogy earned $1.1 billion. »

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'Pirates' plunders for ninth straight weekend atop int'l b.o.

4 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The 2006 summer season winds down internationally with Walt Disney Co.'s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead 's Chest dominant for the ninth consecutive weekend, absconding with an estimated $11.8 million from 6,681 screens in 49 territories. With no significant competition Dead Man's Chest finished nearly 60% ahead of the weekend's No. 2 title, Miami Vice -- the film pushed its overseas gross total to a mighty $579.1 million, and to $991.9 million worldwide. Buena Vista International, which distributes Disney films, predicts Dead Man's Chest will cross the $1 billion mark in global ticket sales by next weekend. If that happens, it will join 1997's Titanic (worldwide boxoffice of $1.85 billion) and 2003's Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King ($1.12 billion) as the only three films in industry history to break the $1 billion boxoffice barrier. Whereas Titanic and Lord benefited by 11 Oscar wins each, Dead Man's Chest is "purely doing it on the basis of fan support," noted David Kornblum, BV's vp of international theatrical sales and distribution. »

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'Pirates' plunders for ninth straight weekend atop int'l b.o.

3 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The 2006 summer season winds down internationally with Walt Disney Co.'s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead 's Chest dominant for the ninth consecutive weekend, absconding with an estimated $11.8 million from 6,681 screens in 49 territories. With no significant competition Dead Man's Chest finished nearly 60% ahead of the weekend's No. 2 title, Miami Vice -- the film pushed its overseas gross total to a mighty $579.1 million, and to $991.9 million worldwide. Buena Vista International, which distributes Disney films, predicts Dead Man's Chest Will Cross the $1 billion mark in global ticket sales by next weekend. If that happens, it will join 1997's Titanic (worldwide boxoffice of $1.85 billion) and 2003's Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King ($1.12 billion) as the only three films in industry history to break the $1 billion boxoffice barrier. Whereas Titanic and Lord benefited by 11 Oscar wins each, Dead Man's Chest is "purely doing it on the basis of fan support," noted David Kornblum, BV's vp of international theatrical sales and distribution. »

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Pair set for effects work in 'Avatar'

3 August 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Director James Cameron has signed Joe Letteri and Weta Digital to create the visual effects, creatures and digital environments for his new film Avatar for 20th Century Fox. Letteri is a three-time Oscar winner, along with his Wellington, N.Z.-based team, for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and King Kong. "Weta has proven themselves a leader in visionary effects, especially in the area of performance capture based character animation, which is a big part of my new film," Cameron said. »

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TMG profits double up in '05

3 May 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

COLOGNE, Germany -- 2005 was a banner year for Herbert Kloiber's media conglomerate Tele Muenchen Group, with revenue climbing 10% to a record €250.4 million ($316.6 million) and pre-tax profits almost doubling to €39.8 million ($50.3 million) from €20.8 million in 2004. Licensing trading again made up the bulk of TMG's business, accounting for sales of €160.5 million ($202.9 million) last year. A good part of this was due to Kloiber's groundbreaking deal with Warner Bros., which gave TMG free-TV rights to hits including films in the Harry Potter franchise and the last two films in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In February, TMG extended its deal with Warners, taking rights to more than 50 new titles, including upcoming summer tentpoles Poseidon and Superman Returns. »

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'Ice Age 2' heats up German boxoffice

10 April 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

COLOGNE, Germany -- 20th Century Fox's Ice Age 2: The Meltdown added some much needed heat to the German box office this weekend, taking in a cool €14.2 million ($17.2 million), a record for an animated film in the territory and the best start of any movie in Germany so far this year. The result is good news for German exhibitors, which are coming off the worst boxoffice year in a decade and need a tentpole such as Ice Age 2 to fire up the market. Ice Age 2 marked the fifth-best opening weekend of all time in Germany, behind only The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and the first, second and fourth of the Harry Potter series. »

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4th 'Potter' now No. 5 overseas

24 February 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Warner Bros. Pictures' Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has crossed the $600 million mark in international receipts and ranks fifth among all-time international releases. It sits behind Titanic, the all-time champ with $1.2 billion in international grosses; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($752 million); Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first Potter movie ($657 million); and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second ($616 million). The third installment, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, ranks ninth internationally with $545 million. »

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4th 'Potter' now No. 5 overseas

24 February 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Warner Bros. Pictures' Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has crossed the $600 million mark in international receipts and ranks fifth among all-time international releases. It sits behind Titanic, the all-time champ with $1.2 billion in international grosses; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($752 million); Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first Potter movie ($657 million); and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second ($616 million). The third installment, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, ranks ninth internationally with $545 million. »

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German boxoffice in '05 dive

10 February 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

COLOGNE, Germany -- Last year was an annus horribilis for the German film industry. Official figures released Wednesday confirmed that boxoffice dropped 16.6% and attendance figures slumped 18.8% in 2005 compared with 2004. Just 127.3 million movies tickets were sold in Germany last year, the lowest number since 1995. That compares with 156.7 million a year earlier. Boxoffice revenue was down to €745 million ($901 million), versus €892.9 million in 2004. Though established franchises such as Harry Potter and Star Wars cleaned up in the German market, several big-budget blockbusters misfired. Peter Jackson's King Kong sold only 2.5 million tickets in Germany, less than a quarter of the audience that turned out for his Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2003. Fox scored a hit with Blue Sky's Ice Age in 2002, with an audience of more than 7 million in Germany, but Blue Sky's Robots sold just 1.7 million tickets in the territory. »

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TMG deals Warner films to RTL

11 January 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

COLOGNE, Germany -- Herbert Kloiber's Tele Muenchen Group (TMG) has sold a package of films and series from Warner Bros. including The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, to leading German commercial broadcaster RTL in one of the largest-ever deals between the two companies. In addition to LOTR, the RTL package includes free-TV rights to Warner features such as Troy, Ocean's 12 Batman Begins and Monster-In-Law. »

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TMG sells RTL WB package with 2 'Rings'

11 January 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

COLOGNE, Germany -- Herbert Kloiber's Tele Muenchen Group has sold a package of Warner Bros. films and TV series that includes The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King to leading German commercial broadcaster RTL in one of the largest deals between the two companies. The RTL package also includes free-TV rights to such Warners features as Troy, Ocean's 12, Batman Begins and Monster-In-Law as well as U.S. TV series including The Closer, Close to Home and The War at Home. RTL and TMG declined comment on financial details of the agreement but Kloiber called the deal "substantial." »

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14 items from 2006


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