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U slices ‘Pie 2’ for Fox, USA

Teen sequel expected to fetch $22.5 mil for TV run

NEW YORK — Universal has sold the hit theatrical “American Pie 2” in a shared window to the Fox network and cabler USA Network.

Fox and USA together are expected to pay Universal about $22.5 million for “American Pie 2,” based on 15% of the domestic box office of the movie, which topped out at $148 million.

Fox gets three runs of the movie over an 18-month period (February 2004 to August 2005); the movie then goes to USA for an exclusive run of about four years.

While confirming the deal, Universal, Fox and USA all declined to talk about license fees, citing confidentiality agreements.

Two people with knowledge of the deal said CBS bid on the broadcast-network part of the deal. On the cable side, TBS, TNT and Comedy Central joined forces to try to buy the window.

Fox went after “American Pie 2” at least in part because it bought the first “Pie” in a shared window with its sister network FX three years ago.

As part of its contract for “Pie 2,” USA bought the exclusive 4½-year network window to “Musketeer,” the costume melodrama that grossed $27 million in U.S. theaters when Universal released it earlier this year. The movie becomes available to USA in 2004.

Before they get to Fox and USA, “Pie 2” and “Musketeer” will get exclusive 18-month, pay TV windows on John Malone’s Starz.

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