FX has rights to ‘Iron Man 3,’ ‘Oblivion,’ ‘Croods,’ more locked up

“Pain & Gain”
FX has secured rights to “Pain & Gain” and many other high-grossing movies.
(Paramount Pictures)

Given all the different platforms that movies are available on, one might think their value as a form of programming for a cable network would be on the decline.

Not so for News Corp.'s FX, which has the rights to many of the top theatrical releases of 2013, including “Iron Man 3,” which last week took in over $170 million in U.S. box office.

Other theatricals that will run on FX include “Pain & Gain,” “Oblivion,” “A Good Day to Die Hard” and “The Croods.”

Although the titles will have been available on other outlets including HBO (“Oblivion”), Epix (“Pain & Gain”) Starz (“Iron Man 3") and Netflix (“The Croods”) prior to arriving on FX, the cable network still gets solid numbers for theatrical movies. Last Sunday, it ran “Iron Man 2,” which averaged almost 3.3 million viewers.


When FX has a movie such as “Iron Man 2" in what is known as its window, that movie is not available on another TV network or a streaming service.

The price for the television rights to a movie is determined by its box-office performance. Deals typically run about four years and the license fee is generally 10% to 12% of the U.S. box-office take. Usually, there is a cap of $200 million on any one film in determining the price.


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Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.

For the record: This post was corrected to reflect that Starz, not Epix, has the pay-TV rights to “Iron Man 3.”

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