Deal includes 'Constantine,' 'Lives,' 'Troy'

NEW YORK — “Batman Begins” has landed its first major deal in the network window.

Pic is part of an eight-title package bought by FX from Warner Bros. for a total license fee in the $30 million range.

FX gets “Batman” first in the window in late 2007/early 2008 for multiple runs before the title shifts to AMC for a batch of runs, returning to FX to finish out the contract. The FX deal is for three years. A spokesman for FX confirmed the deal but declined to discuss any contractual details.

Two other Warners titles will go to FX as first plays: “Constantine,” which the network gets in late 2007, and “Taking Lives,” available to FX in late 2006. AMC has bought some runs of “Constantine” following the FX plays, and Oxygen Media has bought second plays on “Taking Lives.”

FX has picked up second runs of the five other Warner titles: “Last Samurai,” “Terminator 3,” “Troy,” “Ghost Ship” and “Cradle 2 the Grave.” AMC gets first dibs on “Last Samurai” and “T3.”

The Warner Bros. deal propels FX into the front ranks of ad-supported networks that spring for the rights to volumes of theatrical movies, including a healthy sprinkling of blockbusters such as “Spider-Man 2” and three biggies from its sister company, 20th Century Fox: “The Day After Tomorrow,” “I, Robot” and “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.”

Overall, the marketplace is looking up for the major studios in their search for buyers of theatrical movies. Turner Broadcasting recently bought “The Matrix Revolutions” and “Miss Congeniality 2” from Warner Bros. plus “The Longest Yard” and “Sahara” from Paramount.

And the bidding is expected to be energetic for Lucasfilm’s six “Star Wars” movies, led by the current box office hit “Revenge of the Sith.”

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