Network nabs 'Enchanted,' 'Treasure'
USA Network will fork over more than $50 million for the network-window rights to “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” “Enchanted,” “No Country for Old Men” and four other theatrical movies from Disney-ABC Domestic Distribution.
Disney previously sold the “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy to USA, as well as the first “National Treasure” movie and the hit family comedy “Game Plan.” ABC-Disney and USA declined to comment on the new deal.
USA Network has finished first in primetime among all ad-supported cable nets for the past two years, and high-visibility movies are a key ingredient in its programming strategy. The cabler recently bought New Line’s “Hairspray,” Warner Bros.’ “Ocean’s Thirteen” and Universal’s “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.”
Three of the four other titles in the Disney package will come to USA not as first plays but after another cable net takes a few premiere runs: “Bridge to Terabithia,” “Dan in Real Life” and “Becoming Jane.” The fourth, “Gone Baby Gone,” will make its debut on USA in November 2009.
As part of the deal, USA sister network NBC will be able to take a run of “Enchanted,” as will other NBC Universal-owned nets such as the Sci Fi Channel and Oxygen. But USA will get the first plays.
Sci Fi Channel is a likely destination for a run of “Terabithia” because of its fantasy elements, and Bravo could get a run of “No Country for Old Men.”
As is customary with most movie deals these days, USA will allow Disney-ABC to carve out a window for another cable network to buy a run or two of the big titles.
USA will get the Disney pics after their exclusive 18-month pay TV window on Starz, which has an theatrical output deal with Disney.