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UPN socks away 5 pix from Miramax

Pact puts 3 Chan films on weblet

Three Jackie Chan movies, the third sequel in “The Crow” franchise and a 1998 supernatural thriller starring Ben Affleck will make their way to the UPN Network over the next 18 months as part of a five-picture deal with Miramax Films.

Two of the five will receive their world broadcast premiere on UPN: the Jackie Chan thriller “Accidental Spy” and “Crow 3.” Miramax’s Dimension Films division produced “Spy” and “Crow 3” as theatricals but, unwilling to shoulder theatrical-marketing costs, decided to distribute them direct to video. UPN’s total license fee for the five comes to between $4.5 million and $5 million.

“Crow” flies twice

“Crow,” in vidstores now, becomes available to UPN Oct. 1. “Spy” hits vidstores in August; UPN gets it in February. In both instances, UPN has rights to two runs over two years.

The second Chan movie, “Supercop 2,” has played on cable TV before but will make its broadcast premiere on UPN.

Deal skims off Fox contract

“Operation Condor,” the third Chan movie, did benefit from a theatrical release and has had a couple of runs on the Fox Network, as did the Affleck movie “Phantoms,” co-starring Peter O’Toole and Rose McGowan. UPN bought just a one-year window to each title, to begin in October 2003, in effect skimming off the last 12 months of the Fox Network’s contract with Miramax for the movies.

UPN will schedule most of the titles for its Friday-night movie slot, which will be aimed at the young male demo that dotes on such UPN programs as the Thursday “WWF Smackdown” wrestling extravaganzas.