Second field trip for FX to 'Museum'

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FX has snatched another boxoffice champ, securing exclusive TV rights to "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," which opened No. 1 domesticlaly with $70 million during the weekend.

The basic cable network is expected to pay a standard license fee: 12% of the movie's domestic boxoffice, with a cap at $200 million. With "Smithsonian" on course to cross that mark, FX likely will end up shelling out $24 million for the Ben Stiller starrer, produced by sibling studio Fox. The network will have it available at the end of 2011 and has an option to carve out broadcast windows.

FX already owns TV rights to "Smithsonian's" hit predecessor, 2006's "Night at the Museum," which premiered on the network last week to respectable numbers.

In the past few weeks, FX also has acquired three other films that opened No. 1 this spring: "Star Trek," "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and "Monsters vs. Aliens."

The cable network is bound to claim another boxoffice champ this summer with the upcoming "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," which it bought several months ago as part of a Paramount package that included last year's Stiller comedy "Tropic Thunder."

Stiller movies, including "There's Something About Mary" and "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," have been strong performers for FX, which might pair its "Museum" acquisitions with Stiller's older movies or run them as a double feature. (partialdiff)
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