WHY DID NEW LINE CUT A DEAL WITH PETER JACKSON TO PRODUCE THE HOBBIT? “I would suppose one very relevant proximate cause would be Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne trying to save their asses in the wake of the very expensive The Golden Compass cratering very badly at the box office ($40 million in two weeks, with a nearly 66% dropoff in the second weekend — not good news when your production budget is $180 million and you’ve sold off the foreign rights). My guess: it’ll work.”