Thanks to Steve for the alert on this one!
WB, TBS in ‘Rings’ circus with $160 mil 3 pic deal
The Hollywood Reporter – February 1, 2002
It’s no fantasy: The WB Network is poised to make its first megabucks film acquisition in tandem with its Turner Broadcasting cable sibling through a pending deal with New Line Cinema for the studio’s three “The Lord of the Rings” features. The long-term pact is valued at more than $160 million. The WB will share the rights to the films with its sister cable channels, TNT and TBS, making the deal an exercise in corporate synergy among the AOL Time Warner-owned WB, Turner Broadcasting and New Line. It’s still unclear whether WB or Turner will get first crack at the films, and it’s understood that there was considerable jockeying for that position between the WB and Turner cable camps, both of which are overseen by TBS chairman/WB founder Jamie Kellner. The combined WB-Turner license fee for “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” alone is about $60 million, while the price tag on the second and third movie will depend on their boxoffice tally. After nearly six weeks in release, “Fellowship” has raked in more than $258 million domestically. The length of the licensing term on each film is 10 years. Turner and the WB will acquire the rights to the films in fourth-quarter 2004, ’05 and ’06, successively, following the movies’ pay TV window on Starz! Encore.