Entertainment One’s exit from the theater market is a devastating blow to the Quebec film industry

It has been confirmed that Les Films Séville president Patrick Roy is no longer with the company as his contract expires this week. Roy told a Montreal newspaper on Tuesday that he was “still in discussion” with eOne and hoped to announce “some good news very soon.”Isaiah Tricks / Getty Images

Entertainment One, once a leading player in the Canadian film distribution market, is suspending film distribution operations in Canada and Spain, the staff company said on Tuesday, a move that also includes ending theatrical operations for eOne’s subsidiary Les Films Séville, a from the largest film distributors in Quebec.

Although there was no information on how many staff members were affected by the decision, it was confirmed that Les Films Séville president Patrick Roy was no longer with the company as his contract expired this week. (Roy was not available for comment when he contacted The Globe and Mail, but told Le Journal de Montréal on Tuesday that he was “still in discussion” with eOne and hoped to announce “some good news very soon . “)

In the face of challenging market realities, namely the difficulty of successfully passing acquisition titles through the increasingly narrow theatrical distribution pipeline, eOne’s decision is not surprising, at least from the point of view of the English-speaking market. The company, which has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, China and Brazil, but whose television and film operations are based in Toronto, is gradually reducing its theatrical distribution footprint in Canada after being acquired in 2019 by the US toy giant Hasbro Inc. for $ 4 billion.

While eOne once distributed dozens of movies a year in the country – including such indie Hollywood hits as If Bill Street could talk,, Molly’s game,, La La Land and Sicario, plus a credible wave of Canadian cinema from leading local filmmakers such as Philippe Fallardo, Xavier Dolan and Kim Nguyen – the company’s theatrical production has since slowed to a drop, even rejecting the pandemic. Last year, the company distributed only six films theatrically, with only one English title, The big red dog Cliffordgetting on the big screen.

However, the news about Les Films Séville is a more surprising and devastating blow to the Quebec market. Founded in 1999, the Montreal-based team is highly regarded as a constant supplier of the highest level of French language cinema, delivering films by such acclaimed Quebec directors as Denis Arcand, Ricardo Trogi, Daniel Robbie and Anne Emond. Under Roy’s direction, the remarkable success stories of Les Films Séville include Good cop, bad cop franchise and the comedy of Emil Godroy Liarwhich was the highest-grossing Canadian film of 2019 in any language and has just been made in France.

On Wednesday, the Quebec Media Production Association (AQPM) issued a statement lamenting the “invaluable loss” of Séville Films’ theatrical performance.

“Even if [the company] has reduced its distribution activities since eOne was acquired by Hasbro and in the context of the pandemic, it nevertheless remained an essential reference for the distribution and promotion of films that marked the history of Quebec cinema, ”said AQPM. “Feature film producers are losing an important partner and a talented team driven by a genuine love of Quebec cinema and its creators.”

Les Films Séville will continue to distribute the seven films for which it has already committed to the theater, including the drama by Miriam Bouchard and Catherine Chateau vanishing lines, which is due to open on July 6; Denis Arkand’s new satirical drama Testament; and Robert Boudreau’s crime drama Delia left, starring Stephen James and Marisa Tomei. It is unclear what will happen to his valuable list of catalog titles.

In the meantime, eOne will maintain its direct theatrical business in the United Kingdom, as well as its content licensing activities in Canada and Spain. He will also continue to manage his content development and production divisions after cutting his film and television crews by 10 percent in multiple territories last year.

Under Hasbro, the eOne content portfolio – which before its acquisition in 2019 included such internationally recognized brands as Peppa Pig and PJ masks – includes Transformers,, Power Rangers and My little pony franchisees.

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