New Line Cinema just seems to lurch from one PR disaster to another. First they were involved in a lengthy legal battle with Peter Jackson over unpaid royalties for the Lord of the Rings films, now they are involved in a similar dispute with the estate of Tolkien over $150 million. Apparently, Tolkien's estate received a desultory payment of $62,500 and have received nothing since in terms of royalties.
The worst part is the revelation that "legal action could delay an expected prequel to the fantasy epics."
I remember seeing an interview with one of the fat cats at New Line and I thought at the time he was a slimy bastard, so the news the company is involved in more legal wrangling over profits doesn't come as much of a surprise. It's just another indication that Hollywood is about money rather than art.
You can find the full article here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7240421.stm