Increased box office receipts and domestic television sales reverse losses.
Annual figures released by Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp on Thursday revealed that international sales plummeted by 56% in 2010/11 period, but that the company’s overall turnover only fell by only 1.5% due to increased box office receipts and domestic television sales and its burgeoning television series production activities.
According to the preliminary results for the 12 months up to March 31, 2011, total EuropaCorp turnover came in at €178.7 million against €181 million the previous 12 month period.
This followed a difficult year for the company on the international sales front, with turnover falling by 56 percent to €34.9 million against €80 million in the 2009/10 period.
The latter period was perceived by analysts as having benefited from a stronger international sales slate, including Taken,From Paris with Love and I Love You Phillip Morris, against the 2010/11 slate, featuring The Adventures of Adele Blanc Sec and Little White Lies (Les petit mouchoirs) which were popular at home but less commercial abroad.
Poor international sales were compensated, however, by a 56% increase in television sales in France of recent films such as Arthur 2 and From Paris with Love as well as catalogue films such as the Taxi feature film series. Television turnover rose to €43 million from €27.6 million the previous year.
At the French box office, receipts rose by 61% to €36.7 million with five films -TheExtraordinaryAdventures of Adele Blanc Sec, Arthur 3, Little White Lies, L’Homme Qui Voulait Vivre Sa Vie (The Big Picture) and A View of Love (Un Balcon sur Mer) – attracting more than one million spectators.
EuropaCorp’s decision to ramp up its production of television series production also appeared to be paying off, bringing in €15.7 million in 2010/11.
At a presentation of the company’s strategy for the next three years in May, EuropaCorp director general Christophe Lambert said he wanted television production to account for 30% of the company’s activity by 2014. It accounted for 8.8% in 2010/11.
His ambition for revenues from international sales to make up 65% of turnover by 2014 may be a little harder to achieve. In 2010/11, it accounted for 19 percent of business against 44%in the previous year.
Local analysts said that despite the dip in turnover EuropaCorp’s future was looking brighter than a year ago thanks to a strong international sales slate of completed and upcoming productions which includes Olivier Megaton’s Taken 2. The recent three-year output deal with Scanbox for Scandinavia was also seen as a positive move.