French producer-director Luc Besson is looking to a United States investment fund to help save his ailing EuropaCorp studio, confirming media reports that he was looking for an investor to take a major stake in the movie-making venture.
EuropaCorp confirmed that it was speaking to one of its creditors, Vine Alternative Investments about “a possible equity participation,” but added that it could not guarantee that talks would be successful.
Besson’s studio, based in a northern Paris suburb, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, but although he is responsible for critical successes “The Professional”, “The Fifth Element”, “The Transporter” series and “Taken”, it has lost major revenue over the past four years.
Blockbuster sci-fi movie “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” tanked at the box office, losses that EuropaCorp has yet to recoup.
According to Journal du Dimanche, Besson said he would rather Vine take control of his studio that big French film group Pathé.
EuropaCorp was given a six-month reprieve from its heavy debts as it looks for someone to rescue the enterprise.
As of 2018-2019, it was 110 million euros in the hole, adding to the previous years’ debts, totaling 82 million euros.
As of 2016, Fundamental Films, a Chinese venture, put forth 60 million euros in the studio, as its second-largest shareholder.
Besson had hoped for a major success in his latest film he penned and directed, a sexy crime thriller called “Anna” that opened in June. It garnered poor reviews, but was an audience winner.