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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 August 2005, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Producer 'earns 94m from Rings'
Elijah Wood in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings films made more than $2.9bn (1.6bn)
A movie producer earned $168m (94m) from The Lord of the Rings films even though he did not work on the trilogy, trade paper Variety has reported.

Saul Zaentz got the payout from film studio New Line because he bought the rights to JRR Tolkien's books in 1976.

The windfall is revealed in court papers after New Line settled a legal wrangle with Mr Zaentz, Variety said.

He sued New Line for a further $20m (11m), saying they miscalculated the box office royalties he was owed.

The three Lord of the Rings films made more than $2.9bn (1.6bn) at box offices around the world and the final instalment won 11 Oscars.

Saul Zaentz (right) and Anthony Minghella at the Oscars 1997
Saul Zaentz (right) produced The English Patient
Mr Zaentz, 84, produced One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus and The English Patient.

He retained the rights to The Lord of the Rings after making an animated adventure in 1978.

Variety said neither side would reveal how much New Line paid Mr Zaentz to settle the legal action.

Mr Zaentz claimed New Line based his share of royalties from foreign distributors on net income but said it should have been worked out from the gross profits.

New Line still faces a legal challenge from the trilogy's director Peter Jackson, who says the company withheld his share of profits from the first film.


SEE ALSO:
Director sues over Rings profits
02 Mar 05 |  Entertainment
Rings star Astin joins 24 TV show
28 Aug 05 |  Entertainment
Rings star launches hooligan film
23 Aug 05 |  Entertainment
Rings man can sue for dismissal
06 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Rights issue 'delays Hobbit film'
07 Mar 04 |  Entertainment


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