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October 21, 2005

AOL Gets Exclusive Rights To Debut 'Narnia' Video

Courtesy of TechWeb News

America Online Inc. on Friday said it has received from Walt Disney Studios the exclusive rights to provide movie fans the first look at photos, artwork and video related to the holiday fantasy film “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”

In addition, AOL, a unit of Time Warner Inc., has agreed to promote the movie across the AOL network, including and AOL Music and Television. Disney expects Narnia to be this year’s holiday blockbuster.

AOL is banking on exclusive content to help drive traffic to the public web portal that it launched this summer to compete against Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp.’s MSN and others for online advertising. AOL is particularly interested in building a strong video entertainment service.

The deal with Disney includes the movie’s new theatrical trailer, which debuted on AOL’s Moviefone Friday. Over the next several weeks, AOL plans to offer fans the first look at behind-the-scenes video features, extended footage from the movie, an extensive production gallery, interactive character guides and more.

"Audience anticipation for ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ is already enormous and it will only grow as we lead up to Dec. 9 (release date)," Erik Flannigan, vice president of AOL programming, said in a statement.

“Narnia,” which is based on one of a series of books written by C.S. Lewis, follows the adventures of four siblings in World War II England who enter the fantasy world through a magical wardrobe. The director is Andrew Adamson, who also direct Oscar-winning animation film “Shrek.”

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