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TBS reels in ‘Blue Sea’

WB opens window for sibling

NEW YORK — “The Deep Blue Sea” will flow to Time Warner’s TBS Superstation in the first broadcast window — another example of Warner Bros. steering its theatrical movies to its sister company.

TBS’ license fee will depend on the final domestic box office gross of the movie, which opened last week to a solid $19.1 million.

Recent history would suggest that if “Deep Blue” cascades to more than $100 million in U.S. theaters, triggering a license fee of $15 million-$20 million, TBS will ask Warner Bros. to remove the exclusivity clause and sell the second run within the window to a broadcast network. A second run of a hit movie following a burst of runs on TBS could fetch Warner Bros. $4 million-$6 million, which TBS could subtract from its license fee.

Long-term output deal

Time Warner’s HBO has a lock on the pay TV window of “Deep Blue,” which becomes available in the summer of 2000, based on a long-term output deal the network previously struck with Warner Bros. The movie will get to TBS early in the year 2002.

Other Warner Bros. theatricals that will end up with shared windows between TBS (or sister network TNT) and a broadcast net include “The Matrix,” “Wild Wild West,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “Conspiracy Theory” and “L.A. Confidential.”

In all of these cases except “L.A. Confidential,” TBS and TNT will get the first burst of runs, with the broadcast network coming in afterwards with an exclusive window to schedule one or two runs. CBS gets “L.A. Confidential” first.

Other big-grossing movies that TBS and TNT have bought for a first burst of runs include “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” “The Mummy,” “Analyze This,” “Payback,” “As Good as It Gets” and “The Wedding Singer.”

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