In the news

Published August 14, 2006

Fox to sell its own movies, TV shows online

The new X-Men movie and television shows like 24 are coming to a computer near you.

Fox will tap into a platform now used to sell video games and let visitors buy movies and television shows that they can download for computer playback and transfer to devices running Microsoft's Windows Media Player technology.

Movies available in October include X-Men: The Last Stand, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, The Omen and Thank You for Smoking. Availability through Fox's Direct2Drive service will be concurrent with the DVD release.

Also, Direct2Drive will make available Fox's 24 and Prison Break and FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia within 24 hours of each episode's broadcast.

Other movies and shows will be added later.

Movies will sell for about $20 and TV shows for $1.99 an episode.

Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes Music Store already sells many television shows, including 24 and others from Fox, for $1.99 apiece, but those can only be played on the company's market-leading iPod devices or through its iTunes software on a computer.

The movies and TV shows from Twentieth Century Fox will carry copy protection, limiting playback to two Windows computers, each supporting one portable device. Sales will be limited to the United States.

Direct2Drive is a service offered by IGN Entertainment Inc., which Fox's parent, News Corp., bought last year for $650-million.

Over the next year, video sales will come to other Fox sites as well, including MySpace.com.

'Talladega Nights' holds on to top spot at box office

The Will Ferrell comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby remained the box office champ for a second weekend with $23-million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates released Sunday.

Last week's news of another terror plot against airliners apparently did not dampen audience appetite for Oliver Stone's World Trade Center. The Paramount Pictures release beat expectations by earning $19-million over the weekend to place third at the weekend box office. The film has earned $26.8-million since it opened nationwide Wednesday.

The high-school dance film Step Up from the Walt Disney Co. placed second with a take of $21-million.