Looks like some of Peter Jackson's countrymen will also be suing New Line for money they feel they've got coming. According to Variety, fifteen New Zealanders who appeared in the Lord of the Rings series contend that they're due a small chunk of the merchandising money (given that their likenesses were made into action figures, etc.), but according to the New Line ledgers there's been "zero net merchandising revenue." (Someone please explain this to me; I failed accounting in high school.)

Even after Variety breaks it down for simple-minded people, I still don't get it: "Based on the paragraph, the actors believed they would receive 5% of "net merchandising revenue" split among all actors whose characters are portrayed on the merchandise. What the actors didn't realize is that gross merchandising revenue apparently became "net merchandising revenue" after certain unexpected expenses were deducted. The biggest of these was a 50% distribution fee that the actors had never seen mentioned anywhere in their contract, according to the lawsuit." (Oh my head.)

Anyway, the fifteen performers (mostly bit players) have acquired a lawyer and they're going to court. But they'll still have to get in line behind their fearless leader. At this point the only people New Line doesn't owe money to are the moviegoers. I've personally invested about $150 bucks on the trilogy and I consider it money well spent. Expect the studio to announce yet another "Special Edition" DVD package to offset the lawsuits and court fees.
categories Cinematical