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German Distributor Senator Lowers Forecast After Box Office Flops

Mr. Morgan's Last Love - H 2013
"Mr. Morgan's Last Love"

Local releases, including Michael Caine-starrer “Mr. Morgan's Last Love” failed to deliver for the Berlin-based company.

BERLIN – German indie distributor Senator has lowered its year-end forecast after a series of box office flops, including Australian musical comedy The Sapphires and Michael Caine-starrer Mr. Morgan's Last Love.

The Berlin-based distributor said it expects to book a pre-tax loss for 2013, after originally forecasting a single-digit EBIT profit and to earn between $40.5 million - $44.6 million (€30 million – €33 million) this year, on the low end of its original forecast of between $40.5 million - $67.6 million (€30 million - €50 million).

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Senator had the most successful release in company history last year, when French comedy The Intouchables earned more than $85 million in Germany. That box office boon rescued Senator and kicked off an acquisitions and production boom at the group. But few of Senator's pick-ups have delivered. Even big-name titles, including Lasse Hallstrom's Safe Haven, which earned some $4.3 million for Senator in Germany or David O Russell's The Silver Linings Playbook ($3.2 million) under-performed.

“It hurts to see that our 2013 portfolio fell short of expectations at the box office,” said Senator Chairman Helge Sasse. “But it is also important to mention that some cinema premieres which had been slated for 2013 have been postponed to 2014, and we will also only been able to realize some TV sales in 2014 which had been initially planned for 2013.”

Sasse noted that with a 2014 slate that includes Oscar-buzz biopic Mandela – The Long Walk to Freedom, Anton Corbijn's John le Carre thriller A Most Wanted Man and German best-seller adaptation Der Koch, Senator was “very well set up for 2014, and we look positively into the next year.”