Hobbits are now owned by Amazon, joining all-encompassing TV rights to The Lord of the Rings book and appendices rights.

MGM's famous roaring lion trade mark is seen in front of Bilbo and Gandalf.
The Hobbit films were produced by Warner Bros from rights owned by MGM. img: YouTube

It’s official: Amazon has acquired MGM Studios, including the longtime film and TV rights to The Hobbit and characters related. Within hours, CEO Jeff Bezos announced he is stepping down in July and moving to Hollywood to play with his major studio, of which the crown jewel is The Lord of the Rings.

What this means is that @LOTRonPrime can put Hobbits in their Second Age show, since rights to that class of characters were held by MGM. ‘But timelines,’ you say! Time is just a construct. Amazon needs an Everyman entry point for casual viewers: Hobbits are that. There have been rumors that Harfoots are in the show, a book-sourced compromise from the troublesome Hobbit rights. Amazon can now change all the dialogue in reshoots to call them Hobbits; casual fans will want that familiarity.

Remember the crushing drama of rights issues with MGM on The Hobbit, which caused Guillermo del Toro perhaps the greatest professional loss of his career? Amazon has just resolved all that for the future.

Amazon has full TV rights to The Lord of the Rings full stop – anything mentioned in the books and appendices. Now they have all the rights MGM previously held, from its 45 year old Saul Zaentz deal. Amazon chose not to remake The Lord of the Rings, instead exploring many different options, before settling on Numenor and the Second Age.

Owning MGM means, of course, that Amazon COULD remake The Hobbit into a limited series or a cartoon; many things are possible. All kinds of round doors are now open…

The cartoon Bilbo Baggins in front of Bag End - from the Rankin Bass Hobbit movie.

BoTFA EE DVD CoverAfter weeks of rumors (and some nail biting), it’s official! The DVD and Blu-ray editions of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, will be available on Tuesday, November 17. Those who prefer a digital copy can own it four weeks earlier, on Tuesday, October 17. The official press release follows:

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

EXTENDED EDITION

A PRODUCTION OF NEW LINE CINEMA AND

METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES, THE FINAL FILM IN THE EPIC THE HOBBIT TRILOGY, ARRIVES ON BLU-RAY™, DVD AND DIGITAL HD FROM WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

 

BLU-RAY™ and DVD ARRIVE ON NOVEMBER 17

OWN IT EARLY ON DIGITAL HD ON OCTOBER 20

EXTENDED EDITION FEATURES A 20-MINUTE LONGER CUT AND

MORE THAN NINE HOURS OF NEW SPECIAL FEATURES

The Hobbit Trilogy Extended Edition Also Available on
Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD

Burbank, CA, August 25, 2015 – The adventures of Bilbo Baggins come to an epic conclusion when “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” from Academy Award®-winning* filmmaker Peter Jackson, is released as an Extended Edition on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.  A production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), the extended cut of the final film in The Hobbit Trilogy includes 20 minutes of extra footage and more than 9 hours of bonus features that will complete every Hobbit fan’s collection. The film, the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on November 17 and will be available early on Digital HD on October 20.

  Continue reading “Battle of the Five Armies EE DVD available November 17!”

225px-The_Hobbit_(1937)MGM is reporting growth, thanks in part to ‘The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey.‘ The privately held studio says that revenues were up across all of its core businesses, but singled out contributions from the international release of home videos for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the James Bond film Skyfall.

The year over year results are slightly skewed by the $55.7M it recorded from a television asset sale in 2012. With that included, net income came in at $35.9M, -16% vs the period last year, on revenues of $339M, +164%. Without the asset sale, net income would have been up $30M in Q2

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We recently got our hands on what we think is some authentic Bilbo casting and production information which seemed to contradict something we knew with absolute certainty: The Hobbit production wanted Martin Freeman for Bilbo and has since as long ago as last year. Seemingly at odds with that fact was apparently concrete casting details about Bilbo and actors still giving audition tapes. Was the role sewn up or not?

A spy has provided an exclusive clue or two about what the role of Bilbo will be like and even a plot detail and a production outline but we were reluctant to report it because of apparent contradictions, but with all the recent Freeman news, it now fits in context. And yes, you have to read on. This is news you must work for, at least a little bit. Continue reading “Exclusive: Bilbo the Brave? Hobbit casting details”

July 14 (Bloomberg) — Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., the independent film and TV producer, has approached creditors of ailing Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. to help shape a plan to acquire the studio, two people with knowledge of the situation said. Lions Gate Vice Chairman Michael Burns has been meeting in New York with investors who hold some of MGM’s $3.7 billion debt, according to the people, who requested anonymity because the discussions are private. More..

TheOneRing.net has received rock-solid information from an absolutely reliable source that the MGM financial situation is indeed what is behind the delays of the start of “The Hobbit.”

The venerable film studio behind James Bond and about 4,000 other titles is reported to be in about $3.7 billion in debt but holds the distribution rights for two “Hobbit” films that are under contract to be made by Warners Bros. The two studios have an agreement in place to produce and distribute the film but financial difficulties for MGM, including the potential sale of the studio and its holdings, including rights to the films based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, has delayed the films.

The source inside the production has told TheOneRing.net that all of the wrangling with MGM is indeed a significant part of possibly pushing the films back.

“At this stage we are all working and hoping for the best case scenario. Without a doubt, the MGM situation carries great importance.” Continue reading “Source says the MGM situation of ‘great importance’ to two potential ‘Hobbit’ films”