Senator to focus on German films

U.S. boxoffice flops lead company to first-half net loss

COLOGNE, Germany -- German producer/distributor Senator Entertainment will focus more on homegrown films after a string of U.S. flops led to a net loss of 10 million euros ($15 million) in the first half.

Revenue also dropped sharply, falling 43% to 16 million euros ($23.5 million) and Senator said it would earn just 40 million-50 million euros ($58 million-$73 million) this year, down from its original target of 85 million euros ($124 million).

The news sent investors running. Senator stock plunged some 33% Monday to just 0.70 euros ($1.02).

"In the last six to eight months we've had to acknowledge that we are losing money with our international acquisitions," said Senator head Helge Sasse.

Sasse said Senator would scale back its international acquisitions. By 2010, the Berlin-based group plans to release a maximum of three international films, compared with eight German-language productions.

Senator launched films such as "Be Kind, Rewind," "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane" and "Lars and the Real Girl" with major campaigns in Germany this year but failed to deliver a hit.

Marco Weber, responsible for international acquisitions at Senator, has left the company, buying out Senator's U.S. operations. He plans to turn Senator U.S. into a player on the domestic distribution scene and has brought ex-ThinkFilm exec Mark Urman on board as Senator's new president.
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