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Carrie Mathison and Eddie the Eagle helped Germany’s Studio Babelsberg return to a profit last year.
Babelsberg booked a pre-tax profit of $5.6 million (€5 million) for 2015, up from a 2014 loss of €2.4 million, thanks to visiting productions, including the fifth season of Showtime’s Homeland, featuring Claire Danes as CIA operative Mathison, this time chasing down terrorists in Berlin, and Taron Egerton/Hugh Jackman starrer Eddie the Eagle, about hapless British ski jumper Eddie Edwards.
Babelsberg had a number of other high-profile feature shoots in 2015, including Gore Verbinski’s A Cure for Wellness, starring Jason Isaacs and Dane DeHaan, and Luc Besson-produced actioner The Lake with J.K. Simmons. But high-end television played a major role for the studio’s bottom line.
This year, Babelsberg is playing host to two series: Paramount TV’s Berlin Station, a CIA drama starring Richard Armitage, Richard Dillane and Michelle Forbes, which is currently shooting; and the German-language period drama Babylon Berlin, which will begin production on the studio lot in April. Berlin Station will be the first scripted series for premium TV network Epix. Babylon Berlin, set in late 1920s Berlin, was co-written and will be co-directed by German directors Tom Tykwer, Hendrik Handloegten and Achim von Borries. It will premiere on German pay TV network Sky Deutschland in 2017.
Buoyed by its recent success, Babelsberg invested some $9 million (€8 million) in a major backlot expansion last year, creating a new, 3.7 acre cityscape to use as a backdrop for future projects.
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