The news of Belga’s forthcoming foray into production and development comes as the company’s ownership structure has changed.
Belgium’s oldest distribution company Belga Films (founded in 1937 and due to celebrate its 75th birthday next year) is now looking to become active in production.
The company is expected to set up a new production subsidiary later this year. The aim is to develop and produce movies with international appeal. primarily in the English language.
The news of Belga’s forthcoming foray into production and development comes as the company’s ownership structure has changed. Patrick Vandenbosch, the company’s Managing Director, and Alexandre Lippens, the founder of Belgian tax-based investor Scope Invest, have joined forces to buy a 70% share in Belga from RTL Belgium. However, RTL will retain a strategic stake in the company.
“For them (RTL), the positive point is that they remain involved in the activities (of Belga),” Vandenbosch told ScreenDaily.
Lippens sold his shares in Scope Invest in 2008. There is no formal relationship between Belga and Scope. However, it is conceivable that the companies will work together.
On the distribution front, Belga has been doing bumper business with Eclipse (the third part of the Twilight saga) which posted 101,801 admissions on the first day of release. Other recent pick-ups include Tyler Lautner thriller Abduction and new Paul Haggis feature The Next Three Days, starring Russell Crowe and Liam Neeson (both from Lionsgate). The company releases around 25 films theatrically each year. It has a “privileged agreement” which gives it first look at films from EuropaCorp and also works closely with Gaumont.