Luc Besson’s film studio gets six-month reprieve as losses mount

Luc Besson’s lawyer said he ‘categorically denies’ the rape allegation. (AFP pic)

French filmmaker Luc Besson’s production studio has secured court approval for a six-month suspension of its debt payments as it faces a fourth straight year of losses following a string of underwhelming films.

The studio sought a so-called “safeguard procedure” last week in order to “negotiate the terms for restoring its financial health,” it said in a statement Tuesday.

Trading of Europacorp shares was to resume Tuesday after the company halted trading last week as it sought approval for the deal from a court north of Paris, where the studio is based.

Creditors have granted the company a waiver on payments required to pay back debt which stood at 222 million euros (RM1,040 million) as of Sep 30.

Europacorp has warned it will end its current financial year “significantly in deficit”, after racking up an 89-million-euro loss in the first half of the period.

It will come after three years in the red, hit in particular by the huge production costs of the box-office disappointment “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” in 2017.

Besson, whose titles include the suave thrillers “Nikita” and “Leon: The Professional”, created the studio in 1999 and it long raked in profits from producing hits like “The Transporter” and “Taken”.