First picture due for release in Mainland China under the deal will be Luc Besson’s upcoming Malavita.

Paris-based studio EuropaCorp has signed a three-year distribution and co-production deal with Shanghai-based Fundamental Films.

Under the accord, Fundamental will theatrically release 15 EuropaCorp titles in Mainland China, three of which will be co-productions.

The first title to be distributed under the deal will be EuropaCorp founder Luc Besson’s upcoming Malavita, starring Robert de Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones, which is due to start shooting in Paris this August.

EuropaCorp has also committed to potentially selling and distributing three Chinese films internationally.

“The Chinese public has shown its taste for EuropaCorp films in the past, and the success of Transporter 3 and Adèle: Rise of the Mummy in China is heartwarming,” commented Besson.

“I am particularly happy with this partnership. EuropaCorp’s films will be in very good hands,” he added.

Founded in 2008, Shanghai-based film company Fundamental has a strong track record in releasing foreign films in China. Pictures on its 2011 theatrical slate included Limitless, Killer Elite and The Grey.

“This agreement is highly strategic for EuropaCorp because it ensures that the studio will have a strong position in China, allowing it to fully benefit from the extraordinary growth in this market,” said EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert,

Mark Gao, Chairman of Fundamental Films, said: “Through the partnership between EuropaCorp and Fundamental Films, we believe we will have a great platform to drive both Chinese and French movies into a new era.”

The deal follows EuropaCorp’s distribution and co-production pact with Relativity Media in the US which was announced at Cannes.