‘Memento’ sees Starz

Deal involves exclusive pay TV rights

NEW YORK — John Malone’s Starz! has picked up exclusive pay TV rights to the surprise indie theatrical hit “Memento” from Sony Pictures Entertainment for a license fee of about $3.5 million.

“It’s rare for a movie of this quality to become available to premium TV as a one-picture deal,” said Bob Leighton, president of Starz! Encore Entertainment.

“Memento,” a thriller about a man trying to track down the murderer of his wife despite his debilitating short-term memory loss, grossed $25.5 million in U.S. theaters. The Newmarket Capital Group distributed it to theaters and then sold video and pay TV rights to Sony.

Leighton said Starz! also was able to buy the subscription-video-on-demand rights to “Memento.” Those rights will allow Starz! to make “Memento” available to digital-cable subscribers in a form that lets them call the movie up at their convenience for an extra monthly fee.

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