Boosted by the worldwide success of Taken 2 and diversification into TV series, French production EuropaCorp has been having a very good year, with an operating profit margin of 16.3 percent for 2012-13. The company pledged to hit 15 percent by 2015, meaning it’s two years ahead of schedule. The next step for EuropaCorp, co-founded by The Fifth Element director Luc Besson, is to join the vertically integrated ranks of other big French studios like Gaumont by launching its own multiplexes. The company’s first theater is open to the public today after a red carpet première last night of Besson’s latest film, the Robert De Niro mob comedy The Family.
Hyped by its promoters as “revolutionary,” the EuropaCorp Cinemas will operate in the brand new Aeroville mall, which took eight years of development and cost 355 million Euros. It took 12 million Euros just to construct the theater, or about $16.2 million. EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert said the company plans to break even within two years on the theater, which itself is highly diversified in terms of the types of screens offered.
One “Live” screen will be dedicated to simulcasts of operas, concerts, and the like; another has a dance floor as well as seating. A ticket to one of the eight “Basic” screens will cost $13.60, while admittance to one of the two “First” screening rooms will cost $33.80, which also gets viewers a glass of champagne and a smoked-salmon platter. Other auditoriums offer a popcorn bar featuring 16 different flavors. EuropaCorp plans to open its next theater in 2015 in Marseilles and wants to have seven multiplexes operational by 2020.