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TheStreet Open House

CBS Ready to Scare Up Profits in Quiet Films Division

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- CBS  (CBS) has held the self-proclaimed title of "America's Most Watched Network" for some time now.

The network channel has several of the most watched shows with N.C.I.S., The Good Wife, The Big Bang Theory and National Football League games.

However, buried in the corporate structure of parent company CBS is a film division that continues to underperform and post minimal revenue contributions. Could an adaptation of the children's classic horror story Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark bring meaningful revenue contributions to the division?

Screenwriters Marcus Dunston and Patrick Melton are bringing the controversial horror anthologies from Alvin Schwartz to the big screen in a new deal with CBS Films. Dunston and Melton have worked together on a large amount of horror films, including The Collector, The Collection, Feast and the last four movies in the Saw franchise. The duo pitched a film based on the first book in the three-part series, which was released in 1981.

Investors in CBS should be salivating over the potential of this popular three-book series being turned into multiple movies. Through the first week of December, four CBS Films movies have made $79.3 million. That makes CBS Films the 14th highest ranking movie studio on the year. In fact, in each of the last three years, CBS has had under a 1% market share in the growing film industry. In 2012, the studio made $89.9 million from four movies.

With the rights to the Scary Stories franchise, CBS has the potential to turn around its quiet film segment. I believe the company should follow the path Saw took by releasing a movie each October around the time of Halloween. Horror movies do particularly well, and the release of the first Scary Stories movie in October of 2015 or 2016 could easily become the highest grossing movie under the CBS Films umbrella.

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