FX nabs rights to 'Twilight' films

Network acquires all four movies; first to start airing in 2011

The "Twilight Saga" franchise is headed to FX.

FX has acquired the ad-supported TV rights to the four "Twilight" movies in a package deal with producer Summit Entertainment that also includes the indie studio's Oscar hopeful "The Hurt Locker," the Nicolas Cage thriller "Knowing" and actioner "Push."

Under the pact, FX will start running last year's "Twilight," the first movie in the franchise, beginning in late 2011. "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," which shattered projections to open at $142.8 million domestically this past weekend, will be available in late 2012. "Eclipse," which is slated for a June 30 release, will have its premiere on FX in early 2013. Summit has yet to greenlight production on "Breaking Dawn," an adaptation of the fourth book in Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series.

"Locker," "Knowing" and "Push" will debut on FX in mid-2012.

All seven films are set to go to FX after completing their pay cable window on Showtime, which last year inked a four-year output deal with Summit.

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The license fee for the movies is based on their North American boxoffice performance. If the third and fourth "Twilight" movies continue to go strong, each reaching the $200 million mark domestically, FX could end up paying close to $100 million for the quartet. (For a marquee film title, ad-supported networks usually shell out about 12% of the domestic tally and as much per as $24 million if the movie's receipts total crosses $200 million.)

FX's deal with Summit mirrors similar output deals the cable network has put in place with Marvel Studios and DreamWorks Animation.

It also adds another 2009 No. 1 opener, "New Moon," to FX's collection of this year's biggest hits that includes "2012," "Star Trek," "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," "Monsters vs. Aliens," "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," "The Proposal" and "Zombieland."

The acquisition of "Wolverine" and "Dawn of the Dinosaurs" also gave FX two more franchises in addition to "Twilight" as the network now owns the rights to all "X-Men" and "Ice Age" movies.