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USA to let ‘Hollow Man’ out of can in 2003

Cabler, Sci Fi snag TV rights to Bacon thriller

“Hollow Man” will materialize on the USA Network and its Sci Fi Channel sibling beginning in May 2003 as part of five-year deal for the exclusive network window.

If “Hollow Man,” which harvested a strong $26.4 million in its opening week, ends up grossing in the $125 million range domestically, USA’s license fee will shoot up to a strapping $20 million.

As part of the deal, Columbia TriStar TV Distribution also sold USA exclusive network-window rights to “Loser,” which has proved disappointing at the box office ($14.4 million in its first 17 days). USA figures to pay only $2 million to $2.5 million for “Loser,” which will also become available in May 2003. Spokesmen for USA and Columbia declined to comment on the deal.

USA has bought another CTTD movie, “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” which is getting its first network sale although the studio released it in 1996. Under network president Stephen Chao, USA is pushing the boundaries of content in its series and movies. “Larry Flynt” fits that profile. USA’s five-year exclusive contract for the pic begins in October.

Other sluggers on deck

The USA deal for “Hollow Man” could break the logjam of major theatrical hits that have still not found a home on a broadcast or a cable net. Mating dances are going on between the networks and the studios over Warner Bros.’ “The Perfect Storm,” Universal’s “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps” and three 20th Century Fox hits: “The X-Men,” “Me, Myself & Irene” and “Big Momma’s House.” With “Momma’s,” however, New Regency will have an important say in which network ends up buying it.

HBO has the exclusive pay TV window on “Hollow Man,” “Loser” and “Larry Flynt.”