ABC Family picks up ‘Blind Side’

Pickup comes on heels of 'Alice' buy

ABC Family is on a theatrical buying spree, picking up network rights to the Sandra Bullock feature “The Blind Side.”

News of the ABC Family acquisition came a day after Bullock landed the lead actress Oscar at the 82nd Academy Awards. “The Blind Side” pickup also follows on the heels of another high-profile acquisition for ABC Family, the box office hit “Alice in Wonderland.”

“The Blind Side” has grossed a little more than $250 million at the domestic box office; as most theatricals fetch around 10% of gross, that means a pricetag of around $25 million for the cabler.

Deal continues a relationship between ABC Family and Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution, which sold the title to the channel. ABC Family also has the rights to the first six “Harry Potter” features, via WBDTD, with “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” set to air in late 2011.

“Feature films are an integral part of the formula for a successful cable service, and ABC Family has created a terrific destination where Warner Bros. movies have thrived,” said Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution prexy Ken Werner.

Werner and ABC Cable Networks Group exec VP of program acquisitions and scheduling Tom Zappala announced the deal.”Blind Side” was directed by John Lee Hancock, and stars Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates and Quinton Aaron.

Like “Alice,” ABC Family will debut “The Blind Side” in 2012.

Zappala called the movie “a perfect fit for ABC Family.”

“‘The Blind Side’ has a wonderful mix of optimism and heart,” he said.

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