Last year, French filmmaker Luc Besson released Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a glitzy, CGI-filled summer blockbuster which was supposed to be a hit but ended up being a disappointment at the box office not only for the people but for his studio EuropaCorp and according to a recent report Netflix is in talks to purchase the studio.
Besson co-founded the studio in 1999, and since then, it’s produced movies such as Lucy, Taken, Lock-Out, The Circle, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The studio has adamantly blamed the latter and other weak performers for an $83 million loss at the end of 2017, and weeks later, reports started coming in that there were several buyers interested in purchasing the company, which was struggling with its debt.
By the end of January this year, Netflix was negotiating with the studio to “buy into” it’s library and to have Besson direct and produce several films for the streaming service.The two had almost reached an agreement in February, but that didn’t happen. Now however the new deal gives Netflix the operational management of EuropaCorp.
Acquiring the studio is a logical step for Netflix, which is locked into a race with giants likes Amazon, Hulu, Sling, Apple, and Disney to produce its own slate of original content, in order to entice subscribers.
Last year, Netflix said that it would spend upwards of $8 billion on original content in 2018, and it’s begun releasing a number of high-profile original films, such as Bright and Okja. Earlier this year, it surprised everyone by releasing The Cloverfield Paradox, which had been delayed multiple times by Paramount and acquired another troubled film, Extinction. Should the deal go through, acquiring EuropaCorp would allow Netflix to add to its content library, and provide the company with a notable director for future, exclusive releases.