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Lord of the Rings Director Peter Jackson is Officially Billionaire – Money

Peter Jackson | Source: Getty Images

The director’s incursion of Lord of the Rings , Peter Jackson, in the field of visual effects through his company Weta Digital has paid off. The New Zealand-based company he co-founded to produce effects for Heavenly Creatures ( 1994), has become a Hollywood powerhouse, providing CGI for everything, by Wolverine (2013) to the remake of La Belle et le Trochard (2019). Weta announced that part of its assets were sold for $ 1.6 billion to Unity Software, which makes software for video games. Forbes believes that this transaction officially makes Peter Jackson a billionaire.

According to New Zealand regulatory documents, Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh hold a majority stake of 25% in Weta. Unity, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, pays out $ 1 billion in cash, the rest in stocks, which is roughly 490 millions of dollars in cash and 275 million dollars in stock for Peter Jackson, who also made King Kong (2005) and the three films of Hobbit (2009 – 12).

Bonus: New Zealand does not generally levy capital gains tax, which means Peter Jackson gets away with a higher salary than in the US

Peter Jackson isn’t the only famous name vying for a big salary. Lord of the Rings big fan, Sean Parker, billionaire tech investor known for founding Napster and was the first president of Facebook, owns a stake of 20% in Weta, with a value of 400 millions of dollars before taxes. Other than confirming the accuracy of the documents filed in New Zealand, neither Peter Jackson, Sean Parker, nor Weta responded to requests for comment.

Peter Jackson was already rich before the sale of Weta. Sources tell Forbes that Peter Jackson touched 10 millions of dollars in advance for each of the three films of the Lord of the Rings (2001-2003), with at least 10 Additional% of profit from box office revenue from each movie. The trilogy was a resounding success, winning 14 Oscars (including those for Best Director and Best Picture) and with worldwide gross receipts of nearly $ 3 billion.

The Trilogy The Hobbit , the prequel to Lord of the Rings , allowed Peter Jackson to obtain an even higher salary; probably 20 millions of dollars per movie with 20% of revenue , according to reports at the time. In total, the Hobbit movies grossed an additional $ 3 billion at the global box office.

Weta was co-founded by Peter Jackson with Jamie Selkirk and Richard Taylor in 1990 to create visual effects for Kate Winslet’s movie debut in Heavenly Creatures . The workshop then worked on a few other films from the end of the years 600, including the sci-fi drama Contact , released in 1997. But it wasn’t until the movie The Lord of the Rings that Peter Jackson – and Weta – have become famous for their visual effects masterpieces. The company used the motion capture of actor Andy Serkis to create the now iconic onscreen visualization of Gollum, the hobbit turned monster out of his obsession with the unique “precious” ring. She also developed custom software to render the fight scenes of the trilogy, affairs “of the thousands” that pushed CGI technology to its limits.

Weta a created Pandora and her blue-skinned beings for 3D movie Avatar (2009). She was responsible for the large-scale battle scenes and the piercing fire of the dragons in the final season of the series Game of Thrones from HBO. This year, Weta’s fingerprints are found on the post-pandemic success Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and The Suicide Squad .

The Unity Agreement is specifically for Weta’s suite of visual effects tools and their underlying technology, as well as 60 engineers of the company. Once the deal is done, those parts of Weta will come under Unity’s control. Their objective ? Make Weta’s visual effects suite available to creators around the world via the cloud – one software to rule them all.

Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Lisette Voytko

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