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FX Unspools Movie Package

Though best known for its edgy original series, FX’s primetime is fueled by movies. In this year’s upfront, the network is looking to capitalize on its biggest blockbusters in a big way.

At its upfront event this week, FX plans to announce what it’s calling “Premiere Ticket,” a package of six top box-office winners that will be sold to a limited number of advertisers with category exclusivity. The movies in the package will include Avatar, Star Trek, Transformers 2, Twilight, The Proposal and 2012, all of which will have their broadcast-window premiere on FX.

“We want to turn these films into television events,” says Bruce Lefkowitz, senior VP for ad sales at Fox Cable Entertainment Networks.

FX sells movies based on their cumulative audience over six primetime airings in the course of a week. The network says Iron Man drew 14 million viewers in the 18-to-49 demo. “That’s real reach and real scale,” says Lefkowitz.

The rest of FX’s upcoming movies—including Monsters vs. Aliens, Ice Age 3, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Dear John, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3—should continue to draw substantial ratings.

In addition to its on-air viewership, the “Premiere Ticket” package will be heavily promoted and will include non-digital elements that could feature movie memorabilia sweepstakes, online games and social media engagement.

Movies, along with reruns of Two and a Half Men, have helped put FX on pace to have its biggest year ever in terms of C3 ratings. So far in 2011, FX ranks second in adults 18-to-49 C3 delivery among entertainment networks, up 28% from last year.

FX will also unveil new primetime series to join such popular shows as Rescue Me, Sons of Anarchy and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.