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Senator posts $15 million loss

Company restructures business

Germany’s Senator Entertainment has slashed its full-year revenue forecast by half after posting a E10.1 million ($14.8 million) net loss in the first six months of the year and is changing course in the restructure of its sagging business.

Citing a much poorer showing at the box office in the first half of the year than had been expected, as well as the sale earlier this year of a 56.5% stake in Berlin-based producer-distrib X Filme, Senator posted a 44% drop in revenue to $23.5 million, while net profit plunged from $2.6 million in the same period last year to a near $15 million loss.

Senator’s first-half releases included Frank Darabont’s “The Mist,” which took in $1.6 million at the box office; Michel Gondry’s “Be Kind Rewind,” which made just over $1 million; Juan Antonio Bayona’s “The Orphanage” ($887,000); and Giuseppe Tornatore’s “The Unknown” ($122,000).

As part of its new restructuring plan, Senator said it would cut the number of international acquisitions and “massively” beef up German productions and co-productions.

Move follows last month’s resignation of Marco Weber as Senator’s chief creative officer. Weber remains a shareholder in the German group but acquired all the shares in its Los Angeles production arm, also called Senator Entertainment, which is focusing on producing English-language films and establishing a new U.S.-based distribution operation.

Weber last week appointed ThinkFilm’s Mark Urman to head the distrib arm.

In February, X Filme, one of Germany’s leading indie companies, re-acquired its majority stake in the shingle formerly owned by Senator.

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