Last updated
StudioCanal SAS
Type Division
Industry Filmmaking
Film distribution
Founded1988;33 years ago (1988)
Area served
Key people
Maxime Saada (Chairman)
Anna Marsh (CEO)
Parent Canal+ Group (Vivendi)
Subsidiaries StudioCanal UK
StudioCanal Australia
StudioCanal GmbH
TANDEM Productions
Paddington and Company
Copyrights Group
Harvey Unna and Stephen Durbridge Limited
Red Production Company
SAM Productions ApS
SunnyMarch TV (20%)
Urban Myth Films (20%)
Bambú Producciones (33%)
Lailaps Films
Rok Studios
British Pathé
Elevation Sales (joint-venture with Lionsgate UK)

StudioCanal SAS (formerly known as Le Studio Canal+, Canal Plus, Canal+ Distribution, Canal+ Production, and Canal+ Image and also known as StudioCanal International) is a French film production and distribution company that owns the third-largest film library in the world. The company is a unit of the Canal+ Group, owned by Vivendi.



The company was founded in 1988 by Pierre Lescure as a spin-off of the Canal+ pay-TV network. The original function was to focus on French and European productions, but later made strategic deals with American production companies. (Carolco) StudioCanal's most notable productions from its early years include Terminator 2: Judgment Day , JFK , Basic Instinct , Cliffhanger , Under Siege , Free Willy , and the original Stargate movie. In those days, it was known as either Le Studio Canal+ or simply Canal+.

Other films the company financed include U-571 , Bully , and Bridget Jones's Diary . StudioCanal also funded the last third of David Lynch's film Mulholland Drive . [1] StudioCanal also financed French-language films, such as Brotherhood of the Wolf (which became the sixth-highest-grossing French-language film of all time in the United States) and Intimate Strangers (which is being remade by Hollywood-based Paramount Pictures [2] ). The biggest box office hits for StudioCanal have been Terminator 2: Judgment Day which grossed US$519 million, Basic Instinct which grossed US$352 million and The Tourist which grossed US$278 million worldwide. [3] [4] [5]

Film library

StudioCanal acquired film libraries from studios that either became defunct or had merged with it over the years; as a result, the company's library is one of the largest in the world, with over 6,000 titles.

StudioCanal owns the libraries of the following companies:

Television series

StudioCanal currently owns the rights to over 30 television series, mostly produced by TANDEM Productions and Red Production Company, including The Avengers , Rambo: The Force of Freedom , Paranoid , Public Eye , Crazyhead , Take Two , Wanted Dead or Alive , The Adventures of Paddington (2019), and international rights to The Big Valley .



StudioCanal acquired British distributor Optimum Releasing in 2006 as their first expansion into an international market. [20] Two years later, their second expansion into the international market took place with StudioCanal's acquisition of German distributor Kinowelt, who had distributed their films up to that point. [21] Kinowelt also owned the DVD label Arthaus. Both Optimum and Kinowelt have since been renamed StudioCanal. [22] StudioCanal's acquisition of Australian distributor Hoyts Distribution took place in 2012 and was StudioCanal's third expansion. [23]

In June 2016, StudioCanal acquired the intellectual rights to the Paddington Bear brand, along with the Copyrights Group, the franchise's merchandise licensing agent. StudioCanal then announced that it would be producing three more Paddington films, including a show on Nick Jr. in 2020. [24]


Outside France, the British Isles, Australia, New Zealand and Central Europe, StudioCanal does not have a formal distribution unit per se , instead relying on other distribution studios and home video distributors to handle their titles. In North America for example, The Criterion Collection, Rialto Pictures, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Image Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Universal Pictures, Shout! Factory and Kino International distribute StudioCanal's back catalogue on DVD and Blu-ray Disc (in addition, Anchor Bay Entertainment previously owned several of their titles). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has handled distribution of StudioCanal/Hoyts Distribution films in Australia and New Zealand on DVD and Blu-ray since early 2015.

In the 1990s to early 2000s, Warner Home Video formerly handled distribution of StudioCanal titles through the Canal+ Image label in the United Kingdom on VHS and DVD until 2006 when StudioCanal opened its own distribution unit in the UK, with titles distributed through Optimum Releasing. [25]

StudioCanal had the European home video distribution rights to 550 titles from the Miramax library from 2011 to 2020, [26] [27] when Paramount Pictures bought a minority stake in Miramax.

Since January 2021, StudioCanal has been distributing Paramount Home Entertainment's releases and sales in the British Isles under its Elevation Sales joint-venture with Lionsgate UK, after Paramount's deal with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment ended.

Selected films produced by StudioCanal or associated companies

Related Research Articles

Miramax, LLC is an American entertainment company known for producing and distributing films and television shows. Its headquarters are located in Los Angeles, California. Miramax was founded in 1979 by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, and was a leading independent film motion picture distribution and production company before it was acquired by The Walt Disney Company on June 30, 1993, in the company’s first acquisition. Miramax was sold by Disney to Filmyard Holdings, a joint venture of Colony NorthStar, Tutor-Saliba Corporation, and Qatar Investment Authority, in 2010, ending Disney's 17-year ownership of the studio. In 2016, the company was sold to the beIN Media Group. In 2019, beIN agreed to sell a 49% stake in the company to ViacomCBS. The sale was completed on April 3, 2020.

Dimension Films is an American film production company and independent film distribution label owned by Lantern Entertainment. It was formerly used as Bob and Harvey Weinstein's label within Miramax, which was acquired by The Walt Disney Company on June 30, 1993, to produce and release independent films and genre titles, specifically horror and science fiction films.

Artisan Entertainment was an American film studio and home video company. It was considered one of the largest mini-major film studios until it was purchased by later mini-major film studio Lions Gate Entertainment in 2003. At the time of its acquisition, Artisan had a library of thousands of films developed through acquisition, original production, and production and distribution agreements. Its headquarters and private screening room were located in Santa Monica, California. It also had an office in Tribeca in Manhattan, New York.

Carolco Pictures Defunct US independent film production company

Carolco Pictures, Inc. was an American independent motion picture production company that existed from 1976 to 1995, founded by Mario Kassar and Andrew G. Vajna. Kassar and Vajna ran Carolco together until 1989, when Vajna left to form Cinergi Pictures. Carolco hit its peak in the 1980s and early 1990s, with blockbuster successes including the first three films of the Rambo franchise, Total Recall, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Basic Instinct, Universal Soldier, Cliffhanger and Stargate. Nevertheless, the company was losing money overall, and required a corporate restructuring in 1992. The 1995 film Cutthroat Island, intended to be a comeback for the studio, instead lost $147 million and brought the company to an end.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation, doing business as Lionsgate, is an American-Canadian entertainment company. It was formed by Frank Giustra on July 10, 1997, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and is currently headquartered in Santa Monica, California, United States. In addition to its flagship Lionsgate Films division, the company contains other divisions such as Lionsgate Television and Lionsgate Interactive. It owns a variety of subsidiaries such as Summit Entertainment, Debmar-Mercury, and Starz Inc.

Pathé French media production and theater businesses

Pathé or Pathé Frères is the name of various French businesses that were founded and originally run by the Pathé Brothers of France starting in 1896. In the early 1900s, Pathé became the world's largest film equipment and production company, as well as a major producer of phonograph records. In 1908, Pathé invented the newsreel that was shown in cinemas before a feature film.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the home video distribution division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Group Corporation, formed in 1978.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment is the home video distribution arm of Lionsgate.

Paramount Home Entertainment US home video distribution company

Paramount Home Entertainment is the home video distribution arm of Paramount Pictures, a division of ViacomCBS.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Home video distribution division of Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the home video distribution division of American film studio Universal Pictures, owned by the NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment division of NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast.

Hemdale Film Corporation, known as Hemdale Communications after 1992, was an independent British-American film production company and distributor. The company was founded in London in 1967 as the Hemdale Company by actor David Hemmings and John Daly, naming the company from a combination of their surnames. The company produced numerous acclaimed films, often in conjunction with companies such as TriStar and Orion Pictures, including Platoon (1986) and The Last Emperor (1987), back-to-back winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Lionsgate Films is an American film production and film distribution studio, headquartered in Santa Monica and founded in Canada, and is the flagship division of Lionsgate Entertainment. It is the largest and most successful mini-major film studio in North America. It focuses on foreign and independent films and has distributed various commercially successful film series, including The Hunger Games, Rambo, Divergent, The Punisher, John Wick, Saw, Madea, Blair Witch, Now You See Me, Hostel, The Expendables, Sinister, The Twilight Saga and Step Up.

Maple Pictures US film distribution company

Maple Pictures Corporation was the distribution arm of Alliance Films. It was formed on April 13, 2005 when Lionsgate demerged to two companies—Lions Gate Entertainment and Maple Pictures. Maple Pictures was the official distributor for Lionsgate's films and video library throughout Canada.

De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG) was an entertainment production company and distribution studio founded by Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis. The company is notable for producing Manhunter, Blue Velvet, the horror films Near Dark and Evil Dead II, King Kong Lives, and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, as well as distributing The Transformers: The Movie.

CBS Media Ventures is an American television production and distribution company owned by CBS Studios, part of CBS Entertainment Group, a division of ViacomCBS.

Anchor Bay Entertainment American home entertainment and production company

Anchor Bay Entertainment was an American home entertainment and production company. It was originally a subsidiary of the Handleman Company in 1995 when it was formed as a merger between Video Treasures and Starmaker Entertainment. In 2004, it became a subsidiary of IDT Entertainment, which was later purchased in 2006 by Starz Inc.. Anchor Bay Entertainment marketed and sold feature films, series, television specials and short films to consumers worldwide. In 2004, Anchor Bay agreed to have its movies distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and renewed their deal in 2011. A year after Starz launched a home entertainment division in 2016 when they were acquired by Lionsgate, Anchor Bay Entertainment was folded into Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

Central Partnership is a Russian film distribution and production company founded in 1995. The distributor was acquired by Russian gas company Gazprom in 2014.

Summit Entertainment is an American film production and distribution company. It is a label of Lionsgate Films, owned by Lionsgate Entertainment and is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.

StudioCanal UK is the official branch of StudioCanal in the British Isles. The company releases many films, including foreign, anime, independent, art, British, Irish and American films in the United Kingdom and sometimes Ireland.

Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Echo Bridge Entertainment is an American independent distribution company. It acquires and distributes feature films, scripted and non-scripted series, documentaries, and children’s programming for home video, digital and television in the United States and throughout the world. Since its acquisition of Alliance Atlantis International Distribution and recent distribution partnerships with Miramax and ABC Disney/Buena Vista, Echo Bridge Entertainment had a combined portfolio of over 11,000 titles, including Degrassi: The Next Generation, until DHX Media acquired the library in November 2014.


  1. Mulholland Drive at IMDb
  2. Ross, Matthew (2007-06-21). "Kelly Fremon". Variety. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  3. "Terminator 2: Judgment Day". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  4. "Basic Instinct". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  5. "The Tourist". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  6. 1 2 3 Lambie, Ryan (March 11, 2014). "The rise and fall of Carolco". Den of Geek . Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  7. 1 2 3 Lambie, Ryan (January 26, 2015). "Exclusive: CEO Alex Bafer Tells Us About The Return of Carolco". Den of Geek . Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  8. 1 2 Hammer, Joshua (March 8, 1992). "Total Free Fall". Newsweek . Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  9. Friendly, David T. (November 16, 1985). "De Laurentiis Rejoins The Ranks--at Embassy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  10. Hopewell, John (October 20, 2012). "Lumiere rocks to French classics". Variety . Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Mitchell, Wendy (December 17, 2012). "Network Distributing acquires rights to 450 films from StudioCanal library". Screen Daily . Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  12. "A.B. Pictures Acquire 50% Of Anglo Amalgamated." The Times [London, England]; April 5, 1962: 21. The Times Digital Archive.
  13. "Associated British Picture Corporation." Sunday Times [London, England] September 3, 1967: 44. The Sunday Times Digital Archive.
  14. 1 2 "STUDIOCANAL". British Universities Film & Video Council .
  15. Haflidason, Almar. "Ealing Comedy Boxset 2 DVD (1947-1953)". BBC Online . Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  16. French, Philip (August 9, 2014). "The Ealing Studios Collection Vol 1 review – Philip French on three immaculately restored Ealing classics". The Guardian . Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  17. "STUDIOCANAL acquires the Romulus Films catalogue". StudioCanal. April 6, 2021.
  18. "Studiocanal Inks Library Deal with Classic Horror Brand Hammer Films". 30 September 2019.
  19. "Studiocanal Acquires Library of 'The Intouchables' Producer". Variety. October 1, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  20. "Studio Canal moves into Blighty". Variety. May 7, 2006.
  21. "StudioCanal buys Kinowelt". Variety. January 17, 2008.
  22. "Optimum, Kinowelt to be rebranded as StudioCanal". Screen Daily. June 30, 2011.
  23. "Hoyts Distribution renamed STUDIOCANAL in Australia and New Zealand". If Magazine. March 4, 2013.
  24. Keslassy, John Hopewell,Elsa (20 June 2016). "Studiocanal Acquires Paddington Bear Brand, Plans Third Paddington Movie".
  25. James, Alison; Dawtrey, Adam (2006-05-07). "Studio Canal moves into Blighty". Variety . Retrieved 2011-09-04.
  26. "Lionsgate, StudioCanal to distribute Miramax films". BusinessWeek. February 11, 2011.
  27. "Lionsgate, Studiocanal and Miramax Enter Into Home Entertainment Distribution Agreements". Yahoo! Finance. February 11, 2011.[ permanent dead link ]