Whenever a big blockbuster is set to hit theaters and rake in a whole ton of cash, you can count on the folks from the Asylum to create a similarly titled, low-budget movie for straight-to-DVD consumption that's sometimes related to the much bigger movie arriving in theaters. Case in point: Three days before The Hobbit hits screens this December, the Asylum will release Age of the Hobbits to DVD, and naturally Warner Bros. (and their subsidiary New Line Cinema) isn't too happy about it.
New Line Cinema, producers of The Hobbit, is already threatening legal action citing their trademark on the word "Hobbit," but the Asylum is fighting back with a pretty sensible (and well thought-out) argument, claiming they're using the word "Hobbits," which is a term that's been used in the scientific community for years.
They say, "Age of the Hobbits is about the real-life human subspecies, Homo Floresiensis, discovered in 2003 in Indonesia which have been uniformly referred to as 'Hobbits' in the scientific community. As such, the use of the term 'Hobbits' is protected under the legal doctrines of nominal and traditional fair use."
The two films really have nothing to do with one another -- Age of The Hobbits even mentions on its cover that it's not affiliated with The Hobbit -- but everyone knows the game the Asylum is playing, and it must be one that's making them a profit if they continue to put out these similarly titled direct-to-DVD movies right before the bigger, more expensive versions arrive on screens.
Of course, we imagine Warner Bros. doesn't want you to watch Age of The Hobbits for fear of there being confusion in the marketplace. For example, one quick image search for Age of the Hobbits returns mostly images for Jackson's movie instead. We've got the trailer for you below in case it's something you might be interested in checking out, but keep in mind that it's not Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which will arrive in theaters (and not DVD) on December 14.
[via THR, Blastr]