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Gallic pix drive up StudioCanal revs

Consolidated revs up 20.3%

PARIS — Vivendi Universal subsid StudioCanal on Friday posted consolidated revenues of 172.9 million euros ($154.5 million) for the first half of 2001, up 20.3% on the same period last year.

Excluding its TV activities, revenues were up more than 36% to $147.6 million, with earnings from new films rising by 51%. Revenues generated by film library rights increased by nearly 10%.

Theatrical releases were mostly in France, including the Sophie Marceau starrer “Belphegor,” which has notched 2 million admissions, and Nanni Moretti’s “The Son’s Room,” with 700,000 admissions.

StudioCanal’s German distrib arm Tobis also benefited from the success of Mathieu Kassovitz’s “Crimson Rivers,” which clocked nearly 800,000 admissions.

StudioCanal recently acquired a controlling stake in the French TV production company Expand, ahead of Canal Plus Group’s ongoing buyout of the 18% of StudioCanal that was floated on the French stock market last year. Move will pave the way for the merger of Universal and StudioCanal within Vivendi Universal’s TV and film division.

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