Wednesday, March 25, 2009

One business to rule them all

Perhaps some of you realize the significance of March 25. Or perhaps not, so let me tell you:

Tolkien [notes] that the climactic attempt to destroy the ring, and in consequence the Dark Lord who had forged it, occurred on "the twenty-fifth of March."

Yup, this is THE DAY for Lord of the Rings devotees to celebrate a deformed creature falling into the fire. Cool! But I digress.

Starting with a book that was written back in 1937, the Tolkien business empire has grown substantially. A few years after Tolkien's death, Tolkien Enterprises was formed and holds worldwide exclusive licensing rights for elements of the Tolkien books, ranging from character names to "film and legitimate stage rights."

(What about illegitimate stage rights? For, I won't go there.)

Just the film rights alone were worth a pretty penny. I'm not sure how much Tolkien Enterprises earned, but the trilogy of films grossed multiple billions of U.S. dollars.

Pretty good income for a university professor.
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