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Turner nets zip up ‘Zorro’ sequel

TNT, TBS take rights to 'Mask,' 'Blue'

Turner Broadcasting’s TNT and TBS, which bought cable-TV rights to 1998’s “The Mask of Zorro,” have sprung for sequel “The Legend of Zorro.”

In a deal with Sony Pictures TV, Turner ponied up a total of about $6.5 million for a four-year window to “Legend of Zorro” and “Into the Blue.” Turner and Sony confirmed the deal but declined to discuss details.

Turner gets the first batch of runs to “Zorro” and “Blue,” beginning early in 2008, but Sony gets the right to carve out a window within the four-year license term for a simultaneous sale of the titles to a broadcast network or another cable net.

“Legend of Zorro” grossed $45 million in U.S. theaters, less than half the $93.7 million harvested by “Mask of Zorro” seven years ago. The seven-year gap in the two movies proved to be a handicap, even though Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones returned for the sequel and Martin Campbell reprised as director.

“Into the Blue,” starring Paul Walker and Jessica Alba and directed by John Stockwell, managed a domestic gross of only $18.47 million in U.S.

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