USA Gets Its Hands on 'Dead Man's Chest'

The USA Network has added a sizable piece of treasure to its lineup, acquiring the rights to the record-breaking movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."

The cable channel will begin airing the film in the fall of 2008. USA also has the cable rights to the first "Pirates" movie, "Curse of the Black Pearl," which makes its basic-cable debut Saturday.

"We are thrilled about this acquisition, especially since we already own the rights to the original," says Jane Blaney, head of programming at the network. "USA is a prime destination for major blockbuster theatricals on television and no film fits our brand better than 'Pirates.'"

"Dead Man's Chest" shattered box-office records when it opened last week. It took in some $55 million in its first day in theaters, and its weekend haul of better than $135 million smashed the previous record held by "Spider-Man." Through Wednesday, it had made $183.6 million.

We're obligated here to note -- though you probably already know this -- that "Pirates" stars Johnny Depp as the fey Capt. Jack Sparrow. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley also star, and "Dead Man's Chest" also features Bill Nighy ("Love Actually," "The Constant Gardener") as Davy Jones.

The third "Pirates" film is due in theaters next summer.

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