The move comes as EuropaCorp has been looking for outside distribution help for “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” a sci-fi epic from company founder Luc Besson. The agreement was also announced as EuropaCorp has been dealing with the fallout from Relativity Media’s bankruptcy and troubled attempts to regain its financial footing. The two companies run RED, a marketing and distribution joint-venture that was formed in 2014. Relativity has not paid its share of the overhead for months. EuropaCorp said it will maintain a 50% stake in RED. Variety exclusively reported that EuropaCorp was seeking outside distribution for “Valerian” and had spoken to STX. Variety also revealed that Relativity was not fulfilling its financial commitments to RED.
In addition to “Valerian,” STX and EuropaCorp will partner on “The Circle,” starring Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, and John Boyega, and directed by James Ponsoldt; Lone Scherfig’s “Their Finest,” a romantic dramedy set in World War II Great Britain starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, and Bill Nighy; and “Renegades,” a heist adventure written by Besson and Richard Wenk, and directed by Steven Quale,
“Luc Besson is a visionary entrepreneur, storyteller, and filmmaker and we are enormously excited to be working with him and his entire team releasing Europacorp’s slate of motion pictures in the United States,” said Adam Fogelson, chairman of STX Entertainment Motion Picture Group, in a statement. “Additionally, [Europa CEO] Marc Shmuger is not only a gifted executive, but a friend to many in our company. Together we’ve enjoyed great successes in the past, and we all share a marketing shorthand that will make this an especially potent partnership.”
“We can’t wait to get started on this partnership with our friends at STX,” said Besson, who noted he worked with Fogelson when he was chief of Universal’s film business. They collaborated on “Lucy,” an action hit Besson directed with Scarlett Johansson.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is expected to be like a typical distribution pact, whereby STX will receive a fee for overseeing the films’ rollouts.
STX’s films include “Bad Moms,” “Free State of Jones,” and “The Gift,” while EuropaCorp has released the likes of “Miss Sloane,” “Nine Lives,” and “The Transporter Refueled.”