USA Network has bought TV rights to Paramount and Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, reports Variety.
USA is buying not only the latest sequel but the first three installments in the series as part of an overall deal that could cost the network $40 million, depending on the box office racked up by “Crystal Skull” in U.S. theaters. (USA’s license fee is directly tied to the movie’s domestic theatrical revenues.)
Paramount won’t be releasing “Crystal Skull” until May 22, but the deal calls for USA to get its first runs of the previous three — Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), “Temple of Doom” (1984) and “Last Crusade” (1989) — in May as a marathon promotional vehicle for the fourth film.
One reason USA was able to outbid its two main rivals, TNT and FX, for the “Indiana Jones” package is that all four movies are likely to play on both USA and its sister net SCI FI Channel, with maybe even a run or two on its Bravo sibling.
USA takes title to “Crystal Skull” in 2011, and during the course of the movie’s multiyear license term, Paramount will get the right to sell a few runs to a broadcast network in a carve-out following USA’s premiere group of runs.