In a suit filed Wednesday in New York, the Weinsteins say their 1998 sale of the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy to New Line applies to all subsequent "Hobbit" films. Warner Bros. elected to split "The Hobbit" into three films, the second of which opens in theatres Friday.
Warner Bros. responded with a statement calling Weinstein's sale of "The Hobbit" rights "one of the great blunders in movie history." The studio says the Weinsteins and Miramax agreed to be paid only for the first film based on "The Hobbit," and it says "that's all they're owed."