EXCLUSIVE: FX is sticking to its strategy of buying marquee movies with the recent purchase of the TV rights to six films, all of which opened at No. 1 at the box office. The list includes Disney’s Tron: Legacy, which has grossed $171.6 million domestically; Sony’s The Green Hornet, which has cleared $97.5 million to date; Screen Gems’ The Roommate, whose current domestic haul stands at $37.2; Sony’s Just Go With It, starring basic-cable-friendly Adam Sandler ($94 million to date); Paramount’s animated Rango ($68 million after 10 days of release), directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp; and the current box-office champ, Sony’s Battle: Los Angeles, which opened with $35.6 million this past weekend. The six films will begin their run on FX in early to mid-2013. Their license fees are said to be 10%-12% of their domestic box-office range.
FX started to systematically target for acquisition No.1 box-office movies a couple of years ago, with the first wave of those movies recently starting to make their way to the network’s lineup. Year-to-date, FX’s primetime movies have averaged 934,000 viewers in the adults 18-49 category, up 28% from last year. The movies outperformed the average for FX’s primetime lineup, which is up 20% from 2010. (In addition to movies, FX airs original programming and Two and a Half Men reruns in primetime.) FX’s most recent premiere of Madagascar 2 on Friday night drew 1.1 million viewers in 18-49, with other recent movie premieres such as Iron Man, Hancock, Step Brothers and Wanted all breaking the 1 million viewer mark in the 18-49 demo.
As part of its strategy, FX has output deals in place with Marvel and DreamWorks Animation, which gives it two likely summer 2011 hits in Marvel’s Thor and DWA’s Kung Fu Panda 2.