Court Ruling Clears Way for Next Battle Over 'Lord of the Rings' Theme Park Rights
The road toward bringing "The Lord of the Rings" has taken longer to travel that the original journey from The Shire To Mordor. But that journey might not yet have come to the dead end that many fans feared had been reached.
The theme park rights to "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" have been tied up in a larger legal battle between the heirs of author J.R.R. Tolkien and Warner Bros., the studio that made the recent films. The Tolkien family has taken a narrow view of the rights it assigned to Warner Bros. — claiming they were for the movies and "tangible" merchandise derivatives. The studio claims that it has the rights to license a much wider range of branded products, which would include online video games and, potentially, theme park attractions.
The heirs sued; Warner Bros. countered with a breach-of-contract claim, and then the estate tried to get the Warner Bros. action thrown out of court. This week, a federal appeals judge ruled that Warner Bros.' action could move forward
, taking the whole process closer to trial... or a negotiated settlement.
The Middle Earth franchises have grossed more than five billion dollars in worldwide box office, making them one of the world's most valuable entertainment franchises. Universal long has been tipped to be after the theme park rights, following its very successful development of multiple theme park lands devoted to Warner Bros.' Harry Potter franchise.
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Can't wait for Disney to buy the rights and sit on them for 10 or 12 years.
I don't see why anyone would want these rights. No one really cares about Lord of the Rings anymore. Although it was popular about a decade ago, the Hobbit failed to revive the franchise's popularity. So yeah, I don't think anyone would really care if they built a Lord of the Rings land or something along those line.
Maybe not to you Juan, but a lot of people are still fanatical about Lord of the Rings.
If WarnerBros get the rights then they should re-start their own themepark business. With Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, DC Comics, Loonely Tunes...etc, they have great properties that will be very popular the world over.
Sign me up. I'd love to see a faithful recreation of the world.
Worldwide Box Office:
The trilogy grossed nearly 1 billion dollars per film, hardly a failure. As much as I would love Universal to build a hobbit theme park land, I do think it would be awkward to have it share a park with Harry Potter. Too much wizardry for one park imo.
I would LOVE to see a well done Middle Earth themed land. The possibilities are endless as to what they could do with it. I think it's still a little ways off before anybody's going to be bidding on theme park rights, but this is a good start.
I feel like there is so much potential for a Lord of the Rings land or park, though I expect it would be a while before we saw it.
An IP with instant immersion qualities-Middle Earth is VERY relevant to any theme park worthy of gaining its rights.
While Lord of the Rings would not likely draw Harry Potter-level crowds, it would definitely be a very popular addition to a theme park. However, I just can't think of a good place to put it. J.R.R. Tolkien reportedly despised Disney so I think it is unlikely they'd buy the rights (not that I think they'd even be interested) and Universal has enough other franchises that Lord of the Rings is probably an extraneous franchise for them. Merlin would be a good option as they are a British company and aren't saturated with IP, but I don't know that they've got the money to buy the rights and develop a land that does the property justice. A lot still needs to happen before the rights go up for sale, but if they do it will be really interesting to see what happens.
I'd love it if Universal did this justice, but surely their funds earmarked for rights acquisition are running low; I can't imagine Nintendo came cheap? So, is Paramount pursuing LOTR a possibility? If you look at their London plans, I think they're really planning on doing the theme park thing right this time around, it would be right at home as a British IP, and they've already proven themselves interested in acquiring such appealing, British IPs with their BBC deal. Just a thought.
I would love for someone to build "Middle Earth". I really loved the look of those movies especially where the Elves lived. I would think the environments could be enjoyed by anyone even someone who didn't like the movies. The LOTR fan base is pretty intense and encompasses a large range of ages because those books have been around since 1937.
Merlin? They're nothing more than a 6 flags type operation.
Islands of Adventure needs this! You could build an entire middle earth actually.
I sure hope Universal gets the theme park rights. Then they can finally build an attraction that features a dragon.
Lloyd Christmas - "So you're telling me there's a chance... YEAH!"
Hate to pop your bubble on that dragon/T-Rex thing about Universal TH, but Universal only has a slight lead over Disney in that category in Central Florida.
But the Magic Kingdom does have that fabulous fire spouting dragon in their afternoon parade. And, it's pretty impressive, though a notch below the excitement of Gringott's Dragon.
Before even clicking on the comments section, I had a pretty good idea what I would see -
"Diminishing returns"... As if "only" making $955M is a disappointment. Some folks are tough to please.
Avatar is not yet open. This speculation is weird. You doubt something without knowing anything. People base vacations for any number of reasons. I suppose the idea is Animal Kingdom will get more clicks at the gate. That marginal difference is huge in terms of revenue and profits. Many people only give an after thought to the minor parks. This will change with Avatar.
My feeling is that currently there isn't enough technology to build a decent LOTR there park.
It's not the technology. It's the scale. LOTR must be grand and should cover at least 4 realms. Shire, Rivendell, Moria, and Mordor. No small project here. A bit of wizards, dwarves, elves, and orcs. Like Harry Potter, Medieval Times, and Hell put together.
Wet and wild becomes the LOTR park.
Wet and wild becomes the LOTR park.
I could see LOTR come to a theme park near you, but which one?
Wet & Wild site, too small. Plus Universal has other designs for that plot.
New Zealand tourism is doing well due to the Middle Earth movies. People will travel to visit that world. They will even travel is more when they can eat and drink at the Prancing Pony and The Green Dragon Inn. There is an endless amount of food and drinks that can be lifted from the movies and books. The amount of adventures there are endless.
There's a huge fan base of the books and movies, it's been around for so many years and people still love it, it may not draw as much crowds as potter but it will draw a lot, and I believe there will be a lot of people booking flights just for a chance to be in middle earth , I personally want them to replace lost continent with something of Lord of the rings , than have it connect to universal like potter does.
This would be right up there with Avatar. Movies I have no interest in but would make an incredible theme park land. Forget about whether you like the IP. A good ride is a good ride regardless of the source material. This would do very well and make someone a ton of cash
Sounds great to me! I'd be more interested in LOTR than Star Wars.
I like this idea. I'd rather have a LOTR themed area or park than Star Wars IMO.
People forget that though the Hobbit movies weren't as popular critically as the Lord of the Rings movies, they each made a billion dollars.
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