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ABC Family grows via $10 mil Par pix deal

Cabler nabs four-year window for 'Clockstoppers'

NEW YORK — ABC Family has signed a $10 million deal to get 30 movies from the Paramount theatrical library, including “Top Gun,” “Ghost,” “Saturday Night Fever” and the first two installments of “Beverly Hills Cop.”

One pic in the package, the sci-fier “Clockstoppers,” will go to ABC Family in an exclusive four-year network window beginning in October 2004. “Clockstoppers,” which cabler Nickelodeon co-produced with Paramount and grossed $37 million in U.S. theaters, is the most expensive movie in the transaction, with a cost of about $2.8 million.

While declining to comment on prices, ABC Family exec VP Tom Cosgrove said: “Movies work well for us. They’re part of our strategy to run movies on most nights in primetime, getting as many recognizable titles as we can.”

Earlier this year, ABC Family picked up the cable TV rights to “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” from HBO and bought cable windows to nine Miramax titles, including “Good Will Hunting,” “Muriel’s Wedding” and “40 Days & 40 Nights.”

The common denominator to the movies ABC Family buys, Cosgrove said, “is that they’re fun and lighthearted and will appeal to adults 18-34, with a skew toward women.”

Small windows

ABC Family will get short windows of as little as three months on most of the high-visibility movies in the Paramount deal. Even though some of these movies are close to two decades old, they’re notable enough that pay TV and basic cable networks will jump at the chance to buy them anytime they’re offered because the pics always pull in viewers.

Two of the Par titles become available right away: “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” (1987) and “Jimmy Hollywood” (1994).

Others in the deal include “Grease” and its sequel, “Coming to America,” “Flashdance,” “Footloose” and “Wayne’s World 2.”