Are we losing The Hobbit

October 27th, 2010 at 9:10 am by David Farrar

The iPredict stock for whether moves off shore is now up to 30c, or 30%.

On Monday it was as low as 10%, and now it is steady on 30%. That is a pretty significant level of risk it will go. I’m going to be monitoring the stock closely over this week to see where it goes before a decision is officially announced – if any insiders are trading, then the stock price should beat the official announcement.

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68 Responses to “Are we losing The Hobbit”

  1. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Whats the odds of outragous missfortune being axed if we lose the hobbit?

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  2. CHFR (229 comments) says:

    Oh I Hope so Murray.

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  3. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Outrageous expenses, and low viewing ratings Internationally.

    That needs the plug pulling PDQ, and more important is the necessity to move the whole tax Payer owned Media Circus into General Private ownership via a well publicised IPO.

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  4. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    It we were to lose The Hobbit it would be an Outrageous Fortune (foist upon us inept unions and activists.)

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  5. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4275149/Hobbit-used-to-push-through-law-changes-CTU

    The latest spin from the CTU. I especially like this bit…..

    “Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said the Government appeared poised to change the test for all workers and doing so at Warner Bros’ request would be a serious challenge to New Zealand’s ”concept of sovereignty”. ”

    So Helen Kelly is against overseas entities coming into NZ dictating how we work.

    Where does Simon Whipp come from again?

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  6. Tom Gould (141 comments) says:

    Appropriate that the fortunes of the Hobbit movies are traded on iPredict. The real game at play here is the MGM takeover by Lions Gate, which it seems needs the Hobbit deal locked down to sure up its position. Looks like the well meaning but dim witted union folks are being ruthlessly gamed, along with Key and the Kiwi taxpayer. I guess the truth will come out, all in good time.

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  7. Rick Rowling (813 comments) says:

    Has anyone done a timeline showing the various announcements? It would be amusing to see the boycott announcement followed by the “the boycott has been lifted” announcement followed by the “there was no boycott announcement” etc etc…

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  8. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    “Looks like the well meaning but dim witted union folks are being ruthlessly gamed…”

    Tom What A Twit.

    The “dim witted” part is correct but as for being gamed, what nonsense. The unions embarked on a plan to leverage the value of The Hobbit to NZ to set precedence around establishing collective contracts to incorporate all workers – including independent contractors. Aside from the obvious part of re-establishing union power, it sought to remove peoples’ right to freedom of association (namely those workers who did not wish to be represented by unions or union terms and conditions.)

    The unions were out classed, out performed, out thought and are now outta the industry [should workers elect to be independent contractors.]

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  9. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    It appears this delegation from Hollywood maybe nothing short of being professional carpetbaggers. I can understand their concern about industrial relations but it’s not our fault their dollar is printed on toilet paper and as such is continually devaluing The union scum that started this mess should be put behind bars, they have simply given these yanks the excuse to come knocking on the door looking for a better deal. What’s the bet they will play one country against the other and put the thumbscrews on Shonkey to sweeten the deal while pocketing the profits. If this is the case Shonkey should tell them to pick up their duty free and fuck off on the next plane out of dodge.

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  10. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Suddenly its all about the 2005 James Bryson ruling which declared him an employee, even though he was contracted as an independent contractor. If this was the only sticking point- why hasn’t Key commented on this before. Obviously Universal studios has issues with or IR laws, not our unions.

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  11. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Rick, I have already linked to the SAG website showing the pdf of the Boycott notice. This is the same boycott that Robyn Malcolm said did not exist.

    It is also signed by actors equity and SAG representatives from the UK, Canada and the USA. These things must have been discussed in advance.

    Now if the union really wanted to show it’s clout, it would contact warners and threaten to put the boycott back if the movie is moved from NZ, but keeping the movie in NZ was never it’s aim, and they don’t care if the movie goes, because protection of our industry is not their concern.

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  12. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    I wonder who’s going to show up today and call Sir Peter Jackson a liar?

    Meanwhile, Sir Peter Jackson today released a letter which he said proved the actors’ unions had already decided to blacklist The Hobbit before requesting a conversation with him.

    The letter, from The International Federation of Actors, was sent to the US directors of production company 3 Foot 7 Ltd on August 17, warning that the federation had instructed its members no to act in the film until the producers had entered into bargaining with the union.

    Sir Peter said that letter was the first time he had been made aware of the issue.

    “It was the first time a meeting was ever requested and it was clear from the letter they had already voted to blacklist us, before even asking for one conversation with me,” he said.

    “I am sick and tired of hearing [union NZ Actors] Equity say ‘All we ever wanted was a meeting’, because it’s disingenuous. They fail to add that from the outset, they had a gun to our head.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4275149/Hobbit-used-to-push-through-law-changes-CTU

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  13. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    bchapman,

    No, I think the studio has issues with militant clowns threatening their investment.

    Despite union claims, this dispute is not resolved yet. We merely have a statement from the unions (there word, such as it is[n't]) that no further action will be taken. Given their behaviour to date one can be forgiven for holding a position that their statement is not worth the paper it is printed on.

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  14. Tom Gould (141 comments) says:

    bhudson, what a dim witted fool you are. These hollywood guys are experts at whipping up public hysteria, no finger prints. It’s their bread and butter. Like most folks, you have fallen for it. This is not about an 80 member union, some Aussie schmuck, Helen Kelly, or even Peter Jackson. Try to keep up. Key himself called the Warners boys ‘west coast heavy hitters’. In truth, its the east coast pulling the strings. This is a multi billion dollar takeover deal hanging by a thread. I suspect Key gets the real game here, but is relaxed to let it play out for local political advantage.

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  15. OTGO (549 comments) says:

    I heard Mark Hadlow (who has been employed as an actor in The Hobbit) tell Maggie Barry that he received texts from the Oz actors union telling him not to sign an agreement to work. This was 2 weeks prior to this whole thing coming out and furthermore Mark is not a member of that union. He was rightly pissed off that some Australian activist was telling him when and where he could work. From what I understand what happens is that he applies for work, auditions, gets 4 call backs and finally is offered work then his agent does the negotiations. How simple is that? Very I’d say.

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  16. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    “Try to keep up”

    Tom, try to base your assertions on the facts. The unions sought to establish precedent-setting contract terms and conditions, negotiating with a body who coud not negotiate those terms, then launched a boycott when they saw they would not get that which they could not be given.

    This has nothing to do with the studios. Had the unions agreed the reasonable terms as originally put to them, the deal would have been locked down and no issue with further incentives.

    Perhaps you should try to experience a little more of the real, commercial, world before you spout inanities about evil capitalist baron conspiracies.

    Tom What A Twit (still)

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  17. OTGO (549 comments) says:

    Tom Gould could I respectively tell you that it is YOU that has to keep up.

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  18. annie (539 comments) says:

    side show bob: “The union scum that started this mess should be put behind bars, they have simply given these yanks the excuse to come knocking on the door looking for a better deal.”

    Agree entirely, but also the media speculated loudly and endlessly about the possiblity of the government offering more financial incentives – a self-fullfiling prophecy if ever there was one.

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  19. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Tom G – regardless of what is happening with the studios the fact remains that a small non-representative group have brought about the likelihood that The Hobbit will not be made in NZ. If it is the elaborate scheme you’re suggesting then the SAG and affiliated unions must have been in on it, and NZAE must therefore be complicit in the conspiracy (even as witless pawns).
    Does that sum up your position?

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  20. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Deep in Premier House…

    Warners: Well Johhhn, this Robyn Malcolm is one scarrry broad. I’m just not sure we take this sort of ris..

    JK: ..OK. This is my final offer. We rebate you 695% of your NZ spend, we pay the distribution and marketing costs of both films, we underwrite any loss at 200%, I say “MGM’s Hobbit” in every speech I make for the next three years, I wear a Hobbit costume when I meet Obama next year and we get 0.05% of any profit. And most importantly, we re-write all NZ employment law with a capital “C” on each occurrence of the word “contractor”. That gentlemen, has to be my final offer. Anymore and I’d be doing a disservice to New Zealand.

    Warners: Boy-oh-boy, Johhhn. You sure drive a mean bargain. I’ll probably get fired for this, but I like you. So you got yourself a deal.

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  21. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    malcolm,

    No, more likely it went:

    WB – John we really wish this meeting didn’t have to take place. If your unions had recommended people sign up to Peter’s very reasonable conditions in the first place we wouldn’t have even had this opportunity to look at incentives we can get elsewhere.

    JK – Yes, it is unfortunate that a small group of ill prepared and incompetent individuals are able to hold a country’s wellbeing to ransom. We are looking into what we can do to mitigate that, both for this production and moving forward.

    WB – John, we appreciate that you would like to retain The Hobbit. Unfortunately now though we are obliged to look at shareholder value in light of other offers. You are aware that one of those offers is from Australia you know? Weren’t they the ones leading the union action over this? Doesn’t that seem a little odd?

    JK – No, we’re used to that. They did the same thing to us over the Rugby World Cup a few years ago.

    WB – Well good luck to you. You know if those union people of your were a little more sensible you wouldn’t have to be considering additional incentives now. You know timing is everything in commercial deals John.

    JK – Yes Bros. Fortunately I still have time to focus some attention on them…

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  22. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    WB are a business, and a ruthless one at that. Why shouldn’t they pounce on th eopportunity to decrease their costs. The opportunity was given to them by the call for a global boycott of the hobbit.

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  23. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Absolutely. What I don’t understand is the ease and nonchalance with which SAG applied the blacklist (aka ‘nuclear option’). Can you just send them a text?

    “blklst ho88it”.
    “OK – dn”.

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  24. Rick Rowling (813 comments) says:

    MEAA announces that The Hobbit (now to be filmed in Australia) will not accept any New Zealand actors as it is suspected that they may spread fireblight.

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  25. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    When will some of the lefties who post on here wake up and smell the petunias?

    Almost every statement that has come from the CTU, the MEAA and Actors Equity has been demonstrably proved to be at best disingenuous, at worst an outright lie.

    By contrast, almost every statement that has come from Sir Peter and those who would wish the Hobbit remain in New Zealand has been able to be backed up by independant evidence from multiple sources.

    Just witness the numerous ‘flip flops’ on the issue of the global boycott, you know, the global boycott that was never announced, but was rescinded by a press release after it was announced, but it wasn’t, you know, that sort of thing.

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  26. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Rick, so true it’s almost not funny.

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  27. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    You don’t think going around making comments about hobbit films with a name like malcolm might be a pretty shit idea this week malcolm?

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  28. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    malcolm,

    No, that would take too long for them to comprehend – multiple syllables in the text.

    It would need to be something they could readily understand. Possibly “all out”

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  29. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Murray, no, I have faith in the intellect of KB readers… oh, hang on.

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  30. Tom Gould (141 comments) says:

    bhudson, the crucial factor you omit is that the producers refused to meet. The union schmucks then upped the ante, as predicted. Game on. They have been played. It must be very cosy in your little world. Actually, it’s folks like you who make the game possible.

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  31. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    They were against the global boycott before they were for it.

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  32. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    If iPredict is at 30% to lose the Hobbit is that not the same as saying there is a 70% chance of it staying?

    Therefore the headline should read ‘We are keeping the Hobbit’.

    Looking at the graph of the stock it has peaked up over 60% and is currently trending down below 30%.

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  33. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Thats all I’m saying Malcolm.

    And here’s “Tom” to illustrate my point. Timeline for you “Tom”, they had set up their global boycott BEFORE they made any afforts at a meeting you muppet. they went after the single big buck production when it was already under way. they didn’t touch anything else at all.

    Explain. Of have a slice of stfu pie yourself.

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  34. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    “the crucial factor you omit is that the producers refused to meet. ”

    No, the crucial factor Tom is that you refuse to heed any of the facts placed before you.

    The producers of The Hobbit were not able to meet with the union to discuss their terms as they had no mandate or right to negotiate those terms. The terms the union were seeking were industry-wide in their scope and not limited to The Hobbit production.

    The producers of The Hobbit, quite rightly, declined to enter into negotiations they could not hold. Instead they pointed the union to SPADA – an industry representative group which had been trying to engage with the unions for some time, but which the unions would not meet.

    So, in fact, it was the unions who refused to meet with the party that could actually attempt to undertake the negotiations the union sought to have.

    That, Tom, is all well documented in the recent media, and is not disputed as fact.

    “It must be very cosy in your little world.”

    Actually its not always that cosy – it’s the real world and sometimes things happen that I don’t really approve of. But I would rather inhabit this, real, world than the land of make believe where you appear to reside.

    Tom What A Twit (still)

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  35. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Tom.

    What you and others on the left fail to realise is that a single producer cannot speak for the whole industry. What producers and directors need is an organisation that can do such a deal.

    They could call it, I dunno, how about the Screen Producers and Directors Association, Yeah! SPADA!

    Of course such an organisation does exist and has been trying to deal with NZAE to update the pink book for 4 years, but NZEA had refused to meet with them, or have been unable to sort their shit out in oredr to do so, and have got some aussie shit stirrer to come in, cry foul, and not even talk to the people they should spoken to in the first place, which was SPADA.

    Jackson even directed them to SPADA.

    Why the hell open with a boycott? Where has that got us?

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  36. Inventory2 (10,337 comments) says:

    @ Tom Gould; why don’t you just accept it? The union overplayed its hand, and got badly burned. That is the plain, simple fact of the matter. And will Phil Goff break his silence any time soon?

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  37. jams (48 comments) says:

    malcolm, the SAG was quick to agree to the global boycott because they see it as a ‘Runaway Production’ Ie, American studio money being used to film a film out of their country. That is their focus at the moment, so to be able to jump on the band wagon without getting the blame is a no brainer for them.

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  38. Tom Gould (141 comments) says:

    RightNow, not really. These things tend to develop a life of their own, if set up well in the first place. The studios don’t give a rat’s ass where their movies are made. They are simply goods for sale. I have dealt with these guys, and they make no secret of their motivations. The creatives are important, and it helps to turn them into stars and geniuses, but there’s always another wannabe waiting in line. These guys invented info-tainment, for Christ’s sake. Make no mistake, this is about big bucks and industry muscle. The feeble budget for the Hobbit movies is chump change. Its only real significance is the cash they will generate next year and the year after that, to sure up the takeover deal. I guess the bhudson’s of this world can be forgiven for thinking this is about some ridiculous industrial dispute. They really have no clue. I suspect Key gets the game, and is just running it out for local advantage.

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  39. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    “I guess the bhudson’s of this world can be forgiven for thinking this is about some ridiculous industrial dispute. They really have no clue.”

    No Tom. You are the one without a clue. All of your assertions have been shot down with simple facts.

    Here’s another, repeated again, seeing as you still wish to bang on about a studio set up:

    If the unions had agreed the original, reasonable terms, the deal would have been locked in and no other incentives required.

    Not the evil capitalist barons Tom. The unions. Timing is everything in a commercial deal. The union tried to take a chance against a reasonable offer and they have burned us all. The unions Tom. Them and them alone. No conspiracy. No collusion. No studio set up. The unions. Their fault, all of it.

    Tom you refuse to acknowledge reality. Live in your little dream world if you choose, but don’t expect others to join you.

    Tom What A Twit (still)

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  40. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Tom.

    You should be writing for Peter Jackson.

    You do a great line in fantasy.

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  41. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    bhudson, the crucial factor you omit is that the producers refused to meet.

    And the crucial factor you have not mentioned is that the reason the union wanted to meet Jackson was to propose an illegal demand.

    Also, why did the union approach Jackson, and not SPADA? If the unions concern was regarding the working conditions and right of actors/actresses in general surely SPADA are the people to be talking to?

    As Jackson rightly said, he can only negotiate the terms and conditions for workers on the Hobbit – which were very reasonable. He cannot negotiate on behalf of the NZ film industry.

    And with all that in mind, the union initiated a Global Boycott of the Hobbit prior to all of this!

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  42. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Reading Tom Gould, makes a reasonable argument for having moderation on comments by DPF, just for sheer bloody ignorance.

    Tom, the sky is blue……………FFS

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  43. somewhatthoughtful (465 comments) says:

    don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story, eh boys?

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/10/sag-ends-boycott-of-the-hobbit.html

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  44. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    malcolm, the SAG was quick to agree to the global boycott because they see it as a ‘Runaway Production’ Ie, American studio money being used to film a film out of their country. That is their focus at the moment, so to be able to jump on the band wagon without getting the blame is a no brainer for them.

    OK. I wondered that. Thanks. It cases SAG in a very poor light.

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  45. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Tom G – there are a number of factors for the studios, and it is significant that prior to the actors boycott that NZ was the favoured location, even with our high exchange rate and lower tax breaks than other countries. Given it wasn’t about the financials, the two remaining major reasons for filming here were 1) NZ is Middle Earth in the eyes of the fans and 2) Peter Jackson wanted it made here and he has considerable influence.
    The unions actions have increased the risk to the studio, regardless of any take-over dealings. It was kudos to Jackson and NZ’s scenery that the LOTR films were made here, and that The Hobbit was to be made here. But if The Hobbit goes it will only be the actions of the unions to blame. All other actions since are remedial.

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  46. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    somwhatthoughtful – thanks for the old news. So LA Times reports on October 20th (their dateline – Thursday Oct 21st our dateline) that the boycott is lifted. So what, is it meant to change anything?

    The boycott was in place by August 17th. It ran for over two months. And it was instigated before NZAE even asked 3 foot 7 for a meeting.

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  47. KevinH (1,227 comments) says:

    John Key was non committal at yesterday’s brief press chat outside Government House. He said that the govt was not in a position to invest a great deal in the project citing that the taxpayer already has a large interest, although he indicated that the govt may have a look at the current set up to see what they could do.
    Warner exec’s were equally cagey but clearly had spelled out their position in relation to the global market and the pro’s and con’s of doing business here.
    The Warner exec’s have delayed the announcement of their decision till later in the week, pending discussions, so there remains a glimmer of hope that the Hobbit will be made here.

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  48. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Rightnow – right on

    somewhatthoughtful – the article you quote is from Wednesdat 20th, yet Helen Kelly claimed the boycott was lifted the previous Sunday.

    Thank you for exposing her false statement to us. I’m sure she, and the rest of the Left, will be very happy with you indeed.

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  49. Tom Gould (141 comments) says:

    bhudsnn, the only sensible thing you said was that “Timing is everything in a commercial deal.” It seems you are beginning to get it. It’s called the ‘movie business’ for very good reason. It’s a business. Jackson holds a degree of transient power in Hollywood because he knows how to spin a good yarn into a billion bucks at the box office. The rest is hype. RightNow seems to understand that the creation of the myth of Middle Earth in NZ was all part of that hype. And sure, it makes sense for the studios to perpetuate that myth for marketing purposes around the Hobbit movies. But the bottom line is what really matters here, and that’s about locking down the revenues in out years is a vital ingredient in the takeover. Moving the Hobbit movies shoot to Ireland or Rumania would not dent the box office. The international audience will go see them regardless of where they are shot. These guys are masters at selling the dream. In fact, they invented it. If key can roll over and seal the local deal, all good. If not, too bad. The Hollywood boys won’t lose any sleep either way.

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  50. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Tom,

    Every time you open your ‘mouth’ you show greater and greater ignorance. This time you have agreed with the proposition that you started out denying.

    I’m glad you accept that timing is everything. That means, Tom, that you also agree that the unions have caused this complete mess by not agreeing to the reasonable conditions placed before them in the first place. If they had signed up to those Tom, the deal was done. Closed. Finito. And the incentives that started to appear from countries would have been rendered meaningless.

    That is what people having been trying to tell you Tom. That is what you have been steadfastly denying. Now, thankfully, you finally accept it (even though you seem to think it means somehow the opposite of what it does.)

    The unions Tom, not the studios. They had the opportunity to take the reasonable deal. They turned it down. They caused the fallout from that, not the studios Tom.

    Just to help you out a little here, I am not claiming the studios are anything other than businesses looking out for shareholder value. That is what they are, and I don’t see them claiming otherwise. That does not make them culpable for what happened in this instance however. In this instance, the unions chose to turn away from the deal that would have locked in the production in NZ.

    Tom What a Twit (still)

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  51. ttibbs (22 comments) says:

    bhudson – someone disagrees with you view so you have to strong-arm them and be ‘clever’ by calling them names. You’re the twat.

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  52. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    ttibbs, pays to do your research before pointing the finger:

    Tom Gould (125) Says:
    October 27th, 2010 at 10:09 am
    bhudson, what a dim witted fool you are…

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  53. ttibbs (22 comments) says:

    Thanks, Right Now – I did do my research.
    It starts with bhudson at 9:49am – “Tom What A Twit”.

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  54. Tom Gould (141 comments) says:

    bhudson, nice try. The timing issue relates to the takeover. It is crunch time for the deal. You can’t seem to grasp what is really at stake here. You can’t seem to get past your inherent dislike of trades unions. I think you need to get out more, travel the world, maybe make some friends in the global corporate world, and start seeing these things for what they are and not what you would like them to be. This saga has been a set up from the get go.

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  55. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    ttibbs,

    Thank you for you personal evaluation. It means a great deal to me.

    I would refute your evaluation on the simple basis that I have responded to Tom repeatedly with facts and explanation. (Yes, I might have intimated he was somewhat of an idiot with his statements but such was based on the demonstration that the statement were repeatedly proven as false.)

    In addition to that – while it causes me no personal grief – I could note the following:

    – bhudson, what a dim witted fool you are.
    – Try to keep up.
    – It must be very cosy in your little world.
    – Actually, it’s folks like you who make the game possible.
    – bhudsnn, the only sensible thing you said was that “Timing is everything in a commercial deal.” It seems you are beginning to get it.

    Tom himself is not shy for the odd snide remark or deragatory comment.

    I am sure you will be admonishing him shortly

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  56. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    ttibbs, fair call and mea culpa, although it’s clearly not a one way street.

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  57. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Tom G – when you say “This saga has been a set up from the get go.” are you saying that the studios engineered this somehow? What are you defining as the ‘get go’, and who did the setting up of who?

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  58. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Tom,

    The timing relates to the initial refusal of the (reasonable) offer. Had the unions accepted that, it was over and the studios would not be in this same position of power. (I am quite sure they would still be angling for breaks from govt or cost reductions from PJ’s co, but certainly not in the position they are in now.)

    Despite what you think, I am not inherently anti-union. I am against them trying to use their perceived power in this manner. I am old enough to remember the railways ferries tied up during school holidays, the seemingly constant waterfront workers stop work (one was a next door neighbour as it happens), and the large hold in the ground that eventually became the BNZ building.

    You might do well to check out RRM’s comments on Chris Trotter’s bowalley road posting on this saga.

    I spent 10 years in a global multi-national company and am shortly to return to that fold, albeit a different company. I think I have very good insight indeed as to how such an enterprise works.

    This saga has not been set up from the get-go Tom, although I agree that WB are taking the opportunity that was presented to them. Which also reinforces why the unions refusing to accept the initial offer created the situation we now find ourselves in. To suggest this was all orchestrated from the outset by the studio is ludicrous.

    [I have been told off for my recurrent sign off, so will omit it at least once – Don’t want to continue upsetting ttibbs)

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  59. ttibbs (22 comments) says:

    bhudson – Fair enough. But did you expect Tom not to react when you unecessarily have a crack at him? Someone disagrees with you and your interpretation of the issue and is instantly labelled a twit and a twat. You must have considered everyone you’ve ever met to be a twit/twat at some point in your life.

    Right Now – no drama. They are both guilty of being childish but at least I can understand Tom’s reaction.

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  60. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    ttibbs,

    (Not quite everyone, and I would have earned the moniker myself at times during my life.)

    Fair call on that. It stems from other positions Tom has chosen to take on other subject, with me and other people. I don’t think it gets under his skin at all and I certainly don’t get wound up by the return comments. I am sure if any of us step over the mark, DPF will administer the demerit ‘whipping’.

    However, I accept the admonishment – Once or twice was one thing, to continue on is another.

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  61. Tom Gould (141 comments) says:

    The news reports that the ‘negotiations’ have now come down to the bottom line issue, tax breaks. At 9:41 am I said “Looks like the well meaning but dim witted union folks are being ruthlessly gamed, along with Key and the Kiwi taxpayer. I guess the truth will come out, all in good time.” Seems that time is now upon us. Sooner than I figured.

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  62. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    WB would be failing their shareholders if they didn’t seek better economic terms once the whole thing turned pear shaped a few weeks back.

    The point is that I believe Peter Jackson over the CTU/Actors Equity when he says that until the whole boycott thing was launched there was no problem with the studio.

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  63. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Tom,

    There was always going to be a money demand, from the moment the unions set off the boycott and other nations started offering incentives – whether it is opportunism or greed on the part of the studio doesn’t matter – once it had reached that point more money became inevitable. (That would have been avoided had the unions accepted the orignal, reasonable offer and not instituted a global boycott.)

    From Stuff:
    “The Government is almost certain to change the law regarding the definition of a contractor – Warner Bros’ main concern.
    But he said there was still a huge gulf between Warner Bros’ demands for a bigger taxpayer subsidy and what the Government was willing to pay.”

    It is claimed, at least, that the main concern was industrial stability and it would seem that it will be addressed. It will be interesting to see if it is limited only to the film industry (I don’t expect they will limit it to a single production.)

    According to John Key the parties are still along way apart on the money side. Whether that is bridged or not remains to be seen.

    The only way the unions could have been gamed was if the studio had infiltrated them and encouraged them to institute the boycott in the first place. Tom, you know that is not the case. The unions have been utterly inept in this and have created both the problem and the opportunity which the studio is now looking to exploit.

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  64. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    But did you expect Tom not to react when you unecessarily have a crack at him?

    ttibbs, ever heard of something called a reputation?

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  65. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    Important to remember that the government is not giving Warner Brothers a chunk of tax payers money – they will just collect less off Warner Brothers if they invest their money here. The government has a choice between getting a reduced amount of tax or none at all if the movie is pulled.

    Once again – well done CTU and Actors Equity.

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  66. Tom Gould (141 comments) says:

    bhudson says “The unions have been utterly inept in this and have created both the problem and the opportunity which the studio is now looking to exploit.” Partly correct. They fell into the trap set for them. By design. Like I said earlier, well meaning but dim witted union folks, ruthlessly gamed. Easy really, because they are so predictable. Brilliant strategy by the studio boys, they get everything they want. Sure up the takeover, self-serving local industrial law, and a huge cheque from the Kiwi taxpayer. Game, set and match to Warners, New Line, Lions Gate and MGM. Those boys will be swimming in Dom on the Learjet ride home.

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  67. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Tom,

    “Partly correct. They fell into the trap set for them.”

    Endless repetition will only work if you are repeating facts. The facts do not support a studio orchestrated trap. All of the facts point to the unions taking an opportunity they didn’t need to (industry-wide negotiations), using weapons of mass negotiation destruction (their boycott) and not understanding the implications of that (naivety).

    As a result, the studio was presented with an opportunity to renegotiate incentives with the govt due to the deal having been delayed due to union intransigence and other competitive incentive offers being received from elsewhere.

    The unions Tom. Incompetent, intransigent and, now, irrelevant

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  68. Manolo (13,749 comments) says:

    If WB takes its business somewhere else the only positive outcome would be the damage inflicted on the unions, the parasites which claim to represent the workers, while working equally against employees and employers.

    The CTU and Mrs. Kelly will have a lot to answer for if this debacle comes to pass.

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