'Monsters' invades FX in DreamWorks deal
Network picks up TV rights to several top animated featuresFX has nabbed the TV rights to nine DreamWorks Animation movies.
The four-year pact with DWA distributor Paramount covers all DWA movies released from 2008-12, including the current hit "Monsters vs. Aliens," "Kung Fu Panda," "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" and the upcoming "Shrek Goes Fourth" and "Panda" sequel.
Under the deal, all movies will have their ad-supported TV premieres on FX, with the cable network also able to carve in short windows for broadcast runs.
While FX has built its brand around such edgy scripted series as "The Shield" and "Nip/Tuck," on the feature side, one of the network's strongest performers has been Fox's animated comedy "Ice Age."
"It showed us that we can get a really strong 18-49 demo by running animated movies," FX executive vp Chuck Saftler said. "The DreamWorks movies are so broad, they play great to both adults and kids."
He said the network plans to run the movies primarily on weekends and holidays when it can target different audiences and different advertisers.
FX wouldn't discuss the financial terms of the deal, but sources said it is in the ballpark of two other major output deals FX inked last year: one with Marvel Studios for five movies, including "Iron Man," that could reach $110 million, and the other with NBC Uni for 15 titles valued at $100 million or more.
DWA previously had a cable output deal with Turner Broadcasting.
The 3-D "Monsters vs. Aliens" last weekend scored the biggest opening of 2009 with $59.3 million in domestic boxoffice.