Movie scores network-window deals
Sony Pictures’ Screen Gems has harvested the first bumper crop of aftermarket dollars from its surprise hit “Stomp the Yard,” pocketing about $7 million from four cable networks: Turner’s TNT and TBS and Viacom’s VH1 and BET.The movie, which is at the tail end of its run in U.S. theaters, where it has grossed $61 million, kicks off on TNT in April 2009 after an 18-month exclusive pay TV window on John Malone’s Starz. Following two years on TNT and TBS, “Stomp” marches to VH1 and BET in 2011 for a shared one-year window. In years four and five, the movie goes back to TNT/TBS, coming to the end of its network-window journey on VH1 and BET in year six. Sony has agreed to give Turner “Stomp” in TNT and TBS On Demand for a portion of the license term. Cable networks are increasingly negotiating for free-on-demand rights to movies and off-network series because cable operators like Comcast will slash their license fees to any network that doesn’t include a robust menu of on-demand programming. “Stomp,” from Rainforest Films, in association with Screen Gems, is directed by Sylvain White and stars Columbus Short and Meagan Good. The movie cost $14 million to produce.