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Luc Besson’s Financially Troubled EuropaCorp Placed Under Court Protection in France

Company has lost money three straight years and is in dire financial situation

Luc Besson’s production company EuropaCorp has been placed under court protection in France for six months so that the company can reorganize financially, Europe 1 reported.

A court of commerce in Bobigny, France, ruled on Monday that the company will be put on safeguard for an initial period of six months to make it possible to “negotiate the terms of a reorganization of the financial situation,” according to Europe 1, adding that all public trading of the company was suspended as of May 6. According to Europacorp, as of Tuesday, the company was added back to the stock market.

Between 2017-18, EuropaCorp lost 82.5 million Euros ($92.4 million) following the U.S. failure of Besson’s pricey 2017 sci-fi epic “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” The film, budgeted at $177 million, grossed just $41 million in North America and $185 million in foreign markets.

The company then lost an additional 89 million Euros in the first half of the fiscal year of 2018-19 and has now been losing money for three years straight.

The failure of “Valerian” forced the company to downgrade the number of English-language films EuropaCorp distributes in North America each year to just two or three films. EuropaCorp also announced in March that the company sold 500 films in its catalog to the French company Gaumont to refocus on its core business of production and distribution.

In December, the 10-year-old company announced a partnership with Pathé Films as another cost-cutting measure, with Pathé Films agreeing to release three EuropaCorp-produced or co-produced films per year, including Besson’s upcoming film “Anna.”