StudioCanal S.A.S.
Film distribution
Founded1988; 35 years ago (1988)
Area served
Key people
Maxime Saada (Chairman)
Anna Marsh (CEO)
ParentCanal+ Group

StudioCanal S.A.S. (formerly known as Le Studio Canal+, Canal Plus, Canal+ Distribution, Canal+ D.A., 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, such as Carolco Pictures. 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] A year later, Optimum Home Entertainment and Lionsgate UK acquired Elevation Sales, a home entertainment sales and distribution company.[21][22] In 2008, their third expansion into the international market took place with StudioCanal's acquisition of German distributor Kinowelt, who had distributed their films up to that point.[23] Kinowelt also owned the DVD label Arthaus. Both Optimum and Kinowelt have since been merged into StudioCanal.[24] StudioCanal's acquisition of Australian distributor Hoyts Distribution took place in 2012 and was StudioCanal's fourth expansion.[25]

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 the Nick Jr. Channel in 2020.[26]


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.[27]

StudioCanal had the European home video distribution rights to 550 titles from the Miramax library from 2011 to 2020,[28][29] 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 (including those of Miramax library) under its Elevation Sales joint-venture with Lionsgate UK, after Paramount's deal with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment ended.

On October 13, 2021, StudioCanal announced that its global distribution deal with Universal would expire in January 2022.[30]

Selected films produced by StudioCanal or associated companies

Main article: List of StudioCanal films


  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. ^ 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. ^ "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. ^ "About Us". Elevation Sales. Retrieved 16 July 2022.
  22. ^ Andrews, Sam (20 May 2007). "Optimum, Lionsgate to buy Elevation Sales". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 16 July 2022.
  23. ^ "StudioCanal buys Kinowelt". Variety. January 17, 2008.
  24. ^ "Optimum, Kinowelt to be rebranded as StudioCanal". Screen Daily. June 30, 2011.
  25. ^ "Hoyts Distribution renamed STUDIOCANAL in Australia and New Zealand". IF Magazine. March 4, 2013. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013.
  26. ^ Keslassy, John Hopewell,Elsa (20 June 2016). "Studiocanal Acquires Paddington Bear Brand, Plans Third Paddington Movie".
  27. ^ James, Alison; Dawtrey, Adam (2006-05-07). "Studio Canal moves into Blighty". Variety. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
  28. ^ "Lionsgate, StudioCanal to distribute Miramax films". BusinessWeek. February 11, 2011.
  29. ^ "Lionsgate, Studiocanal and Miramax Enter Into Home Entertainment Distribution Agreements". Yahoo! Finance. February 11, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  30. ^ "'Terminator 2,' 'Basic Instinct' to Return to Studiocanal Distribution Portfolio as NBCUniversal Deal Ends – Global Bulletin". October 13, 2021.