FX lands rights to 'Avatar'

Film expected to premiere on the network in mid-2012

After weeks of talks, FX on Thursday landed the ad-supported cable rights to 3D blockbuster "Avatar."

While the film comes from sister studio 20th Century Fox, FX had to go through a bidding process. The pact reportedly also had to get the blessing of director James Cameron.

"Avatar" is expected to make its premiere on FX in mid-2012, following the film's home video window and run on HBO.

By then, there will be at least two 3D TV networks -- offshoots of ESPN and Discovery -- raising the possibility that, if the 3D technology makes the TV advances its backers hope for, "Avatar" could be shown on FX as envisioned by Cameron, in 3D.

For now, there are no plans for launch an FX 3D channel, but the network has the rights to "Avatar" for a number of years, so it may be able to display the pic in 3D at some point.

As for the size of "Avatar's license fee, for a blockbuster that crosses $200 domestically, it is usually capped at $24 million, though, based on its monster boxoffice haul, "Avatar" is said to have commanded a premium of several million dollars on top of that.

With the acquisition of "Avatar," FX has secured six of the top 10 grossing movies of 2009, including "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," "Star Trek," "Monsters vs. Aliens," "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs."
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