Dauman: Epix Has Rights to Avengers, Hunger Games

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Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said its Epix movie service retained the rights to two top box office champs - The Avengers and The Hunger Games - which could influence its upcoming renewal talks with subscription VOD service Netflix.
Speaking at the Nomura Media & Telecom conference in New York, Dauman said Epix signed a five-year deal with Netflix in 2010, and the first two years of the deal involved exclusive broadband rights for the SVOD service.
"We're in discussions about that," Dauman said. "We'll see where that goes. Epix has a particularly strong lineup considering the strength of the Paramount lineup that has been released, and we have The Hunger Games and The Avengers. When we sold the distribution rights to Disney, we retained the pay [TV] rights on Epix. We have about as strong a lineup as any pay service; in fact the strongest lineup. We're very well positioned. Epix will do well."
When the Walt Disney Co. purchased Marvel Entertainment in 2009, its old distributor Paramount retained the rights to distribute several of the comic book giant's films. According to Viacom's fiscal 2011 annual report, Paramount sold the rights to distribute The Avengers and Iron Man 3 to Disney in return for $115 million in cash.
The Avengers has so far garnered more than $1.3 billion in worldwide box office sales, according to web site Box Office Mojo. The Hunger Games has generated about $643 million international box office to date, according to Box Office Mojo.

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