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Barred 'Hobbit' Piggyback DVD Renamed 'Clash of the Empires'

13 Dec, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Global Asylum’s court-order barred direct-to-video title, Age of the Hobbits, has been renamed Clash of the Empires, according to the Los Angeles-based distributor’s website.

The title change came two days after a Los Angeles District Court issued a temporary restraining order against Hobbits, Warner Bros. filed litigation claiming the movie illegally sought to piggyback on its $200 million theatrical release, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which launches Dec. 14.

Warner, citing a consumer survey, successfully argued that the piggyback title’s name confused respondents into believing it was the studio’s pending franchise release directed by “Lord of the Rings” auteur Peter Jackson.

Amazon, which had been selling Age of the Hobbits priced from $12.99 for DVD and Blu-ray, says the title is "temporarily out of stock."

Global Asylum has made piggybacking on major studio movies (long a practice in the video business) a strategy. Earlier this year, Universal Studios filed suit against Global Asylum alleging its disc release, American Battleship, infringed upon the theatrical release, Battleship. That disc title was changed to American Warships.

Warner, in its court filings, characterized Global Asylum’s business model as “cynical.”

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