Cannes: China's Fundamental, Luc Besson's EuropaCorp Extend Output Deal

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The agreement includes an investment of up to $50 million in graphic novel adaptation 'Valerian,' starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne.

Chinese production and distribution outfit Fundamental Films on Monday announced a five-year extension of the company’s output deal with Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp.

Under the deal, announced in Cannes on Monday, Fundamental Films will continue to distribute EuropaCorp films within the Chinese market, in addition to taking on co-production duties on a number of upcoming titles. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Fundamental will also invest up to $50 million into the recently-announced graphic novel adaptation Valerian, starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne. The company will handle Chinese distribution, while owning "a substantial part of international box office growth," Fundamental said.

Mark Gao, chairman of Fundamental Films, said: "We are proud of our ongoing partnership with EuropaCorp and the successes achieved to date. With several co-productions in development and a number of first-rate films soon to reach enthusiastic Chinese and worldwide audiences, we can look forward to a hugely exciting next five years."

He added: "Getting to work on one of the hot market titles in Cannes, Valerian seems the best way to celebrate, and we have no doubt that Luc Besson will deliver yet another fantastic result!"

Said EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert: "Fundamental Film’s vast experience and expertise within the Chinese market has ensured our films continue to land in the territory with a real bang. As partners we have developed a phenomenal slate of forthcoming co-productions, and could not be happier to be bringing our shared sensibilities and bold creative vision to the big screen."

The two companies first partnered in 2012, signing an exclusive three-year output deal that has seen the likes of Brick Mansions, Lucy and Taken 3 launched in China.

"The success of the deal marks Fundamental Films’ growth beyond distribution in the Chinese market, becoming an international player in financing, funding and the co-production of international projects," the company said.

The deal follows a similar EuropaCorp's output agreement with Kino Swiat in Poland and with Canada's VVS Films. EuropaCorp also has a comparable arrangement with Universum Film in Germany.

The French mini-major is ramping up its production slate and appears to focus on locking down output deals in multiple international territories to guarantee pre-financing and distribution for its films.

Twitter: @georgszalai



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