July 10, 2007 / 5:31 AM / in 11 years

TNT spears "300" for basic cable

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - TNT has snapped up rights to the theatrical film “300” from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution.

As part of the deal, the cable network gets the basic-cable premiere for the movie, which it can begin airing in September 2009. TNT has a three-year window in which to air the film, though sources indicated that the window is not a concurrent run but rather spread out over five or six years, meaning that the distributor can find a second cable or broadcast network buyer for the movie during windows around TNT’s license term.

“300,” adapted from a Frank Miller graphic novel, became a surprise blockbuster upon its release this year, earning $70 million during its opening weekend -- a new March record. It has earned a total of $210.6 million at the domestic box office since its March 9 release.

The R-rated film, which stars Gerard Butler, is based on the story of Sparta’s King Leonidas and his 300 warriors battling the massive Persian army in the Battle of Thermopylae.

Both network and distributor declined comment on the financial terms of the deal, but sources said that the network paid just south of $20 million for the movie.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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