EuropaCorp posted their six-month financial results today ending Sept. 30, and Luc Besson’s French media company is suffering an $83M net loss versus a $32.6M loss for the same period a year ago.
The company attributes that to the underperformance of its slate last year, largely anchored around Besson’s $200M-$210M sci-fi opus Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, as well as the Tom Hanks movie The Circle and the period pic Their Finest. Valerian, which was handled by STX Entertainment in the states, opened against Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, which was a big mistake. Besson had staked out the release date when he was partnered in a joint venture distribution with Relativity aka RED and he stuck to the date when the sci-fi film found a distribution partner in STX. Valerian made $40.4M stateside and $225.1M worldwide. EuropaCorp also reports a $5.5M writedown on films unreleased in the U.S.; one of them is the Steve Quale NAVY Seals movie Renegades which was originally expected to get a release over Super Bowl weekend. All this despite the fact that revenues for EuropaCorp were up 77% in the six-month period with $162.9M.
In the wake of CEO Marc Shmuger departure on Nov. 11, Besson will take the reigns of the company at the end of the year. Previously, deputy CEO Edouard de Vesinne departed EuropaCorp back in September. EuropaCorp sold its French TV arm last month. “The company continues its actions to reinforce financial capacities and reduce overheads,” read their release statement. The company reports that they saved $3.5M in overheads due to the restructuration of the U.S. distribution and the disappearance of overheads relating to activities previously sold (Multiplexes). Video & VOD amounted to $10.5M, +$6.6M from six months a year ago while TV/SVOD earned $15.6M, -11%.
Besson’s next movie is the action thriller Anna starring Cillian Murphy, Helen Mirren, Luke Evans and Sasha Luss.