New Line Cinema has been sued by the estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien for $150 million over the proceeds of the Lord of the Rings movies, charging the studio with using "creative accounting" to avoid paying it a share of proceeds from the hit films.

Trustees of the Tolkien Trust, along with the British arm of HarperCollins Publishers and a private family trust of Tolkien heirs, sued New Line, a unit of Time Warner, in a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. They claim they have received only an upfront fee of $62,500 for their rights to the films, which are estimated to have grossed $6 billion.

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