FX traps latest 'Spidey'

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FX renews two freshman dramas, sets premiere dates. Story on page 6.



Columbia Pictures' "Spider-Man 3" followed its record-breaking opening weekend with a rich TV deal.

In healthy bidding, FX has nabbed the rights to the film from Sony Pictures Television in a deal that observers said is tied to the movie's final domestic boxoffice tally and could reach $40 million.

Reps for FX, which also owns the rights to "Spider-Man 2," and SPT declined comment on the deal Tuesday.

The five-year deal on "Spider-Man 3" is slated to begin in December 2009, following the film's pay window on Starz.

SPT has the option to carve out three windows during the length of the deal with FX for airings on broadcast networks. SPT is expected to shop the film to the broadcast nets after they wrap their upfront presentations next week.

With additional broadcast runs and a syndication window that would follow "Spider-Man 3's" second cycle on pay cable, the sequel's total TV revenue is expected to be in line with the $60 million-plus fetched by the previous two "Spider-Man" movies.

In 2004, "Spider-Man 2" was sold to Fox Broadcasting Co. and FX in a deal that was valued at about $50 million, with the possibility for extra broadcast/cable windows pegged at about $10 million (HR 5/30/04).

Fox also has the rights to the first "Spider-Man" through a 10-year $60 million-plus deal shared with Turner Broadcasting's TNT and TBS.

Going aggressively after "Spider-Man 3" fits into FX's strategy to acquire big, broad feature films. For the past several years, the network brass have opted to add blockbuster movies to its schedule instead of reruns of popular crime procedural dramas — a once-hot cable commodity that has cooled off.

"Spider-Man 2" debuted on FX in January and has run several times recently, leading to the theatrical premiere of "Spider-Man 3."

"Spider-Man 3," which grossed $151 million in North America this past weekend and $382 million worldwide, smashed a slew of records, including biggest opening weekend.

Its haul could surpass the original "Spider-Man," which is the highest-grossing film in the franchise so far with $403.7 million domestically.
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