Liam Neeson starrer secures distribution deal

Twentieth Century Fox will distribute EuropaCorp’s Liam Neeson starrer “Taken 2″ in North America and most overseas territories.

Luc Besson said Wednesday that Fox had nabbed world rights except for France, Germany, parts of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Benelux.

“EuropaCorp has retained rights to these territories and has already pre-sold them,” Marie-Laure Montironi, EuropaCorp’s head of international sales, told Variety.

The German release will be handled by Universum, with which EuropaCorp recently inked an output deal. EuropaCorp will distribute the film in Gaul.

Fox teamed with EuropaCorp on Pierre Morel’s “Taken,” which was budgeted at $25 million and turned into a megahit. Pic topped the U.S. box office over Super Bowl weekend in 2008 and went on to take $145 million Stateside and $226.8 million worldwide.

Besson also announced that Gaul’s Olivier Megaton will helm “Taken 2.”

It’s Megaton’s third feature. His latest, “Colombiana,” a high-voltage revenge actioner toplining Zoe Saldana, will bow in Gaul on Aug. 3. TriStar Pictures will handle the U.S. release. Megaton previously helmed Jason Statham starrer “Transporter 3.”

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