Courtesy : The Hollywood Reporter
French film director and businessman, Luc Besson is in for some real trouble not only on his personal front but also on his professional front. Besson's company, EuropaCorp, which is currently still in talks with Vine Investments went on to post another $25 million loss for the financial period that ended September 30th, 2019.
That follows a $99 million loss in the first half of the financial year announced in July, and an exceptional write-down of its film distribution arm in the U.S. Net debt stands at $182 million.
The beleaguered studio said talks with U.S investment fund Vine are still ongoing, after French film group Pathe dropped out of discussions. Vine has been circling the Taken and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets producer to save it from bankruptcy after a string of commercial failures and the personal turmoil of Besson.
Besson's big action franchises Taxi, Taken and Transporter gave way to the box office disappointment of his $210 million sci-fi epic Valerian, which brought in just $225 million worldwide. His latest, Anna, seen as a return to form in the female-spy footsteps of the Scarlett Johansson-starrer Lucy, bombed at the box office, where it grossed just $7.5 million for Lionsgate in the U.S.
The company said the talks with Vine are hanging on provisions for EuropaCorp's studio Cite du Cinema north of Paris. Any bailout will “enable the group to continue its activity with a lightened debt structure.” Besson has also been beset by personal problems after being accused of rape by actress Sand Van Roy in May of 2018. That case is undergoing judicial review after being dismissed by police, and the director took to TV to defend himself in October.
The company cited overhead costs down nearly 30 percent, reflecting the company-wide layoffs that have rolled out over the year and began last January.