RUMOR ALERT: Take this information with a grain of salt, as much of it comes from unnamed sources.
It appears that Netflix is deep in talks to acquire EuropaCorp. It was first reported that Netflix was interested in January, following the huge financial blow that EuropaCorp took with the failure of its expensive ($200M) sci-fi epic ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’. EuropaCorp founder and ‘Valerian’ director Luc Besson will remain to oversee the creative side of things. Reportedly, Netflix is interested in Besson continuing to direct original movies, priced more in the $30M range.
One of the main appeals of EuropaCorp for potential buyers and investors is its extensive back catalog that features movies that appeal strongly overseas, such as the ‘Taken’ and ‘Taxi’ brands as well as low-budget prestige projects like the Jessica Chastain-led ‘Miss Sloane’ which earned the actor a Golden Globe nomination. While Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Lucy’ wasn’t a huge hit at the domestic box office, sequel plans are still underway and Netflix could be the perfect outlet for this project, which otherwise may have struggled in theaters.
Last year, Netflix scored a hit with David Ayer’s ‘Bright‘ starring Will Smith and has since become more invested in releasing further original feature films– the sort that would normally be released in cinemas. And as the selection of streaming services becomes more competitive, with Amazon, Hulu, CBS All Access and Apple all making a play and Disney and Warner Brothers/DC Comics having announced their own upcoming services, each of them is going to need to up their game in order to stay competitive.
In addition to bigger budget fare, Netflix is also making an effort to push international product. Its German series ‘Dark’ was a hit in non-German-speaking regions last year. EuropaCorp was founded by Besson and Pierre-Ange Le Pogam in 2000 and the bulk of its output has been projects like ‘Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior’ which isn’t expected to play well to mainstream American audiences. It’s not surprising that Netflix is interested as EuropaCorp could be the perfect business partner given their current business plan.
Check back for updates as they emerge.
Source: The Playlist