Middle-earth Enterprises, formerly known as Tolkien Enterprises (sometimes abbreviated to TE), is the division of the Embracer Group to manage it's licenses for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
In 1969, J.R.R. Tolkien sold certain rights to United Artists, for US$250,000. This was then resold to independent producer Saul Zaentz in 1976, who in turn formed Tolkien Enterprises in 1977. Ralph Bakshi, who had tried to argue with United Artists over an animated feature film for years, found more success with Zaentz. With a budget of US$7 million, it became quite an endeavour.
After Bakshi's box office failure, and the non-success of the Rankin/Bass productions, Zaentz was reluctant to market another adaptation, but would grant license to Peter Jackson if he could find a production studio. After being turned down by Miramax, New Line Cinema went ahead with the film The Lord of the Rings.
In 2010, the company changed it's name to Middle-earth Enterprises, which is it's current name.
In 2022, the Swedish holding company Embracer Group bought Middle-earth Enterprises, along with the rights for adaptations of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Middle-earth Enterprises holds marketing and licensing rights for the titles The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and many proper names and short phrases from the books. As a consequence, they also own all stage and cinema rights to these two books, and the related merchandising rights. However they do not have the television rights for the books (the rights to adapt both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in a television series in whatever form longer than eight episodes).
- New Line Cinema & Warner Bros.
- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Games Workshop
- The Lord of the Rings Musical
- Danbury Mint
- Game Systems
- US Games Systems
- Sophisticated Games
- Royal Selangor
- Mithril Miniatures
- Official website
- Middle-earth Enterprises at Wikipedia
- Tamer Asfahani, "Tolkien IP License", at IncGamers
- ↑ John Ezard, "So, would Tolkien have liked the film?", The Guardian (December 14, 2001)
- ↑ "Middle-earth Enterprises Timeline", Middleearth.com (accessed 24 October 2022)
- ↑ Barry Langford, "Bakshi, Ralph", published in J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia (edited by Michael D.C. Drout), pp. 48-50
- ↑ The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (extended edition), "From Book to Vision"
- ↑ "Tolkien Enterprises Changes Name", TheOneRing.net (accessed 24 October 2022)
- ↑ "EMBRACER GROUP ENTERS INTO AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE IP RIGHTS TO THE LORD OF THE RINGS AND THE HOBBIT LITERARY WORKS BY J.R.R TOLKIEN", Embracer (accessed 18 August 2022)
- ↑ Chester N. Scoville, "Estate", published in J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia (edited by Michael D.C. Drout), pp. 175-6
- ↑ "Tolkien Rights and the Amazon Television Deal – some insight" dated 15 November 2017, TheOneRing.net (accessed 24 October 2022)
- ↑ Middleearth.com, "Current Licensees"