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Family behind The Lord Of The Rings picks up £10m in dividends

Family behind The Lord Of The Rings picks up £10m in dividends, documents show

Power: Morfydd Clark in the TV version of The Lord Of The Rings

The family behind The Lord Of The Rings has picked up £10million in dividends, documents show. 

The record payout by the Tolkien Estate is more than double last year’s and emerges as a big budget version of the fantasy novels hits TV screens. It takes the total paid out to over £50million in the past decade. 

The bulk of intellectual property rights were sold to Hollywood producer Saul Zaentz in the 1970s, meaning heirs to author JRR Tolkien largely missed out on the vast sums generated by the hugely successful Peter Jackson film trilogy. 

The estate primarily controls publishing rights, and the films have seen book sales soar with more than 150million copies of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy sold. But the Zaentz deal did not cover TV rights. So the new series, The Rings Of Power, was negotiated with the estate. 

The budget for the Amazon production is believed to be $1billion (£900million). The latest accounts do not yet appear to show the financial fruits of the agreement. 

Accounts for the estate have been filed amid uncertainty over who has inherited a chunk of the family shares. Priscilla Tolkien, the author’s youngest child, who had no children, died earlier this year. The academic fiercely guarded her father’s legacy before her death at the age of 92.