Euro film group flexes $800 mil fund muscle
Euro film group Studiocanal, wielding its three-year $800 million film financing clout, is boosting its distribution, acquiring “Evil Dead” and “The Company You Keep” for Blighty, and “Broken City” for France and U.K.The buys are the latest moves illustrating Studiocanal’s will and financial might to compete for the biggest or most buzzed-about movies for distribution in Germany, the U.K. and France, Europe’s biggest three markets. Studiocanal closed one of its largest 2012 U.K. bows — “Dead,” a Sam Raimi-Rob Tapert remake of their 1981 classic “The Evil Dead” — just before Berlin. Robert Redford’s “Company” stars Shia LaBeouf in a political thriller sold by Voltage Pics. Helmer Allen Hughes’ “Broken City,” a New York City-based political thriller, will be released in the U.S. by 20th Century Fox in January. It toplines Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones — “a fantastic cast for not just the U.K. but also France,” said Studiocanal chairman-CEO Olivier Courson. Studiocanal has acquired rights to Germany on Sierra/Affinity’s dramatic thriller “The Place Beyond the Pines” from Derek Cianfrance (“Blue Valentine”), starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper. It already has U.K. and French rights. Pursuing longterm relations with directors, Courson explained, Studiocanal has tied down Terrence Malick’s next three movies for U.K. and Germany: “Project D,” “Lawless” and “Knight of Cups,” all FilmNation-sold. Studiocanal has also bought Relativity’s “Mirror Mirror” for the U.K. and Germany, Exclusive’s “Rush” for the U.K. and Lionsgate’s “Hunger Games” for Germany. It releases Robert Pattinson-starrer “Bel Ami,” screening in Berlin, in Blighty on March 9. “It’s not a Studiocanal priority to lead (finance) U.S. blockbusters for which the domestic market is the U.S. but we need them for the U.K. and Germany,” Courson said. Studiocanal’s acquisitions roll off a €150 million ($202.5 million) financing deal with Anton Capital Entertainment, announced in September, on English-language movies and films with international theatrical potential released by Studiocanal over three years. The Euro mini-major has also inked pay TV deals in the U.K. and Germany with Amazon-Lovefilm and a free-to-air TV deal in Germany with RTL.