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Liam, Scarlett Power Up EuropaCorp Revenues

Thanks to deliveries on “Lucy,” income from “Taken 3,” Luc Besson’s Paris studio sees 67% jump in revenues for March-December 2014

Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp is on a roll, thanks to its two 2014-15 blockbusters, Scarlett Johansson-starrer “Lucy” and now “Taken 3,” with Liam Neeson.

Powered up principally by income from 20th Century Fox, the U.S. distributor of Liam Neeson-starrer “Taken 3,” Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp saw fiscal third quarter (Oct. 1-Dec. 31) international sales revenues skyrocket to €33.8 million ($38.2 million) from €2.5 million ($2.8 million) a year earlier. Total 3Q sales of €64.2 million ($72.5 million) were up 88% year-on-year.

That figure adds to upbeat first-half results last year, goosed by international deliveries of “Lucy,” “Brick Mansions” and “The Homesman.” EuropaCorp’s total first nine month revenue is now tracking 67% up on 2013-14 at €160.4 million ($181.25 million) for a financial year that began March 1, 2013.

From 2010, TV production has created a significant new recurrent revenues stream for EuropaCorp. Though TV series and miniseries sales accounted for 24% of revenues over the first nine months of 2013-14 and 15% of income March 1-Dec. 31, 2014, first nine-month revenues remained stable at €25.0 million ($28.25 million) for March-December 2014.

EuropaCorp’s second sales growth driver over its first nine months, revenues from French theatrical releases of EuropaCorp films, rose sturdily thanks once more to “Lucy.” Released Aug. 6 in France, the sci-fi actioner sold 5.2 million tickets by year-end 2014, repping the best performance by any Luc Besson-directed film since 2006’s “Arthur and the Invisibles.”

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EuropaCorp’s large challenge is now to generate new blockbusters that can maintain its international sales momentum. Starring Ed Skrein, Camille Delamarre’s “The Transporter Legacy” will open in the U.S. via Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution (RED) in the next financial year.

In January EuropaCorp announced the start of production on Barry Sonnenfeld’s “Nine Lives,” with Kevin Spacey. Announcing its 3Q results Thursday, EuropaCorp said shooting will start on two other films in the near future: Naomi Watts starrer “Shut In” and “Warriors Gate,” the first movie to come out of the production alliance between EuropaCorp and Shanghai’s Fundamental Films.

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