13 April 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Documentary Channel has inked a deal with Imax Corp. for the exclusive U.S. rights to 21 library titles, including the Tom Cruise-narrated Space Station.

The films, which represent some of Imax's most successful with a combined gross boxoffice of more than $600 million, will be televised for the first time in the U.S. as a result of the deal. Other titles include the Tom Hanks-narrated Magnificent Desolation as well as T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous.

Doc Channel secured the rights with a multiyear contract inked through Norwalk, Conn.-based distributor Northstar Media and is planning to air them throughout the year. Imax has made the movies available in specially remastered high-definition and traditional broadcast formats.

Doc Channel founder and CEO Tom Neff declined comment on the financial terms of the deal but said it marks the 2-year-old network's biggest acquisition ever. He said the film package was appealing in part because of the wide range of subjects covered.

"These Imax documentaries will appeal to a very broad audience: from children to adults, from wildlife to space aficionados, from history lovers to film buffs to the socially conscious," Neff said, adding that he's looking at producing a short to air before each movie that will give viewers more information about Imax's large-format films.


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