FX has agreed to lay out about $47 million for five recent theatrical movies from 20th Century Fox, led by “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who” and “What Happens in Vegas.”
The other titles in the bundle are “Jumper,” “27 Dresses” and the spoof “Meet the Spartans.” FX and 20th Century Fox declined to comment on the deal.
FX has a four-year license term on the package; the network will get “Dresses” and “Spartans” in mid-2010, “Jumper” that fall and “Horton” and “Vegas” by November 2010.
FX tended to focus its buying in the past on male-oriented action thrillers, but has branched out recently into other genres because it wants to get pictures that can serve as compatible lead-ins to its original series. “Dresses” and “Vegas” will work as table setters for “Nip/Tuck” and “Damages,” both successful series that pull in more female viewers than FX’s primetime average.
By contrast, FX will use “Horton” along with previous movie buys including “Alvin & the Chipmunks” and the two “Ice Age” movies to play during the holidays and in summer when kids are out of school.
But action movies like “Jumper” and such other recent FX buys as “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk” and “Hellboy 2” are still an important element in the network’s DNA. These movies will give a lead-in boost to FX’s testosterone-fueled series, including “Rescue Me.”
The combination of movies and original series has driven the median age of FX to 37, according to a Magna Global report released this week, making it one of the youngest general-entertainment networks in basic cable.
Before “Horton” and the other movies in the new deal kick off on FX, they’ll get an exclusive 18-month pay-TV window on HBO as part of its theatrical-output deal with 20th Century Fox.