Cabler pacts with Summit for franchise
Vampires are set to descend on FX. On the heels of “New Moon’s” sizzling opening weekend, the cabler has struck a deal with Summit Entertainment for basic cable rights to the red-hot pics in the “Twilight” franchise.“New Moon,” the second of the four planned pics, bowed to the third-best opening weekend of all time with $142.8 million. Cabler’s purchase also includes theatrical rights to 2008’s “Twilight”; the forthcoming third installment, “Eclipse”; and the planned fourth pic, “Breaking Dawn.” Deal between FX and Summit is standard in that pricetag will be 10%-12% of the domestic box office take, but with a cap. Summit’s deal with FX also includes rights to well-reviewed Iraq war pic “The Hurt Locker,” as well as “Knowing” and “Push.” “Twilight,” the first book of the series from Stephenie Meyer that was adapted into a film, earned $191 million when it was released a year ago. FX can begin airing the pic in late 2011. The window for “New Moon” starts in late 2012, and “Eclipse,” which is scheduled for a June 30, 2010, theatrical release, will have its basic cable debut in 2013. Showtime has the pay cable rights to the “Twilight” franchise. As part of its business plan, FX has been aggressively pursuing rights to theatrical blockbusters to complement a growing number of original series. Cabler recently acquired summer tentpole sequels “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.” Addition of the “Twilight” franchise gives FX a way to draw females. Net, which is enjoying success with the second season of “Sons of Anarchy,” tends to skew heavily toward males. In January, FX will launch animated comedy “Archer” and has Timothy Olyphant starrer “Lawman” on tap. “The Hurt Locker” will be available in mid-2012.