StudioCanal (formerly known as Le Studio Canal+, Canal Plus, Canal+ Distribution, Canal+ Production, and Canal+ Image) 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.

StudioCanal SAS
Film distribution
Founded1988; 32 years ago (1988)
FounderPierre Lescure Edit this on Wikidata
Area served
Key people
Maxime Saada (Chairman)
Didier Lupfer (CEO)
ParentCanal+ Group (Vivendi)
SubsidiariesStudioCanal UK
TANDEM Productions
Paddington and Company
Copyrights Group
Red Production Company
SAM Productions ApS
SunnyMarch TV (20%)
Urban Myth Films (20%)
Bambú Producciones (33%)
ROK Studios
British Pathé


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. 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 second-highest-grossing French-language film in the United States in the last two decades) 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 libraryEdit

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 seriesEdit

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.[19] 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.[20] Kinowelt also owned the DVD label Arthaus. Both Optimum and Kinowelt have since been renamed StudioCanal.[21] StudioCanal's acquisition of Australian distributor Hoyts Distribution took place in 2012 and was StudioCanal's third expansion.[22]

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.[23]


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 and Universal Pictures 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.

StudioCanal had the European home video distribution rights to 550 titles from the Miramax library from 2011 to 2020,[24][25] when Paramount Pictures bought a minority stake in Miramax.

Selected films produced by StudioCanal or associated companiesEdit


  1. ^ Mulholland Drive on IMDb
  2. ^ Ross, Matthew (June 21, 2007). "Kelly Fremon". Variety.
  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. ^ a b c Lambie, Ryan (March 11, 2014). "The rise and fall of Carolco". Den of Geek. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Lambie, Ryan (January 26, 2015). "Exclusive: CEO Alex Bafer Tells Us About The Return of Carolco". Den of Geek. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  8. ^ a b 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. ^ a b c d e f 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. ^ a b "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. ^
  18. ^ "Studiocanal Acquires Library of 'The Intouchables' Producer". Variety. October 1, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  19. ^ "Studio Canal moves into Blighty". Variety. May 7, 2006.
  20. ^ "StudioCanal buys Kinowelt". Variety. January 17, 2008.
  21. ^ "OPTIMUM, KINOWELT TO BE REBRANDED AS STUDIOCANAL". StudioCanal. August 18, 2011.
  22. ^ "Hoyts Distribution renamed STUDIOCANAL in Australia and New Zealand". If Magazine. March 4, 2013.
  23. ^ Keslassy, John Hopewell,Elsa (20 June 2016). "Studiocanal Acquires Paddington Bear Brand, Plans Third Paddington Movie".
  24. ^ "Lionsgate, StudioCanal to distribute Miramax films". BusinessWeek. February 11, 2011.
  25. ^ "Lionsgate, Studiocanal and Miramax Enter Into Home Entertainment Distribution Agreements". Yahoo! Finance. February 11, 2011.[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit