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.

Film distribution
Founded1988 (1988)
FounderPierre Lescure 
Area served
United Kingdom
New Zealand
Key people
Maxime Saada (Chairman)
Didier Lupfer (CEO)
ParentCanal+ Group
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


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 the original Rambo trilogy, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, JFK, Basic Instinct, Cliffhanger, Under Siege, Free Willy, Pulp Fiction, the original Stargate movie and the Kill Bill films. In those days, it was known as Le Studio 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 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, Paddington (2020), 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 an international market took place with StudioCanal's acquisition of German distributor Kinowelt who had distributed their films up to that point.[20] Both companies have since been renamed StudioCanal.[21] StudioCanal's acquisition of Australian distributor Hoyts Distribution took place in 2012 and was StudioCanal's third expansion into an international market.[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 United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and German-speaking countries, 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 used to previously handle several of their titles). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment handles distribution of StudioCanal/Hoyts Distribution films in Australia and New Zealand on DVD and Blu-ray.

StudioCanal also handles home video distribution of 550 titles from the Miramax library within Europe (Lionsgate handles American and most international distribution, while Entertainment One handles Canadian distribution) since February 2011.[24][25]

Selected filmography


Title Release date Notes
The FogFebruary 8, 1980Distributed by AVCO Embassy Pictures
The Elephant ManOctober 10, 1980Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Escape from New YorkJuly 10, 1981Distributed by AVCO Embassy Pictures
The ProfesionalOctober 21, 1981Distributed by Gaumont Film Company
First Blood October 22, 1982Distributed by Orion Pictures
The Cotton ClubDecember 14, 1984Distributed by Orion Pictures
Cat's EyeApril 12, 1985Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Rambo: First Blood Part IIMay 22, 1985Disributed by TriStar Pictures
Red SonjaJuly 3, 1985Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Hold-UpOctober 23, 1985Distributed by Gaumont Film Company
Raw DealJune 6, 1986Distributed by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
Rambo III May 25, 1988Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Red HeatJune 17, 1988Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Lock UpAugust 4, 1989Distributed by TriStar Pictures


Title Release date Notes
Total RecallJune 1, 1990Distributed by TriStar Pictures
The DoorsMarch 1,1991Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Terminator 2: Judgment DayJuly 3, 1991Distributed by TriStar Pictures
JFKDecember 20, 1991Distributed by Warner Bros.
Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Picture
The Mambo KingsFebruary 28, 1992Distributed by Warner Bros.
Memoirs of an Invisible ManFebruary 28, 1992Distributed by Warner Bros.
Basic InstinctMarch 20, 1992Distributed by TriStar Pictures
The Power of OneMarch 27, 1992Distributed by Warner Bros.
The VagrantMay 15, 1992Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Bitter MoonSeptember 23, 1992Distributed by New Line Cinema
Under SiegeOctober 9, 1992Distributed by Warner Bros.
DamageDecember 9, 1992Distributed by New Line Cinema
Arizona DreamJanuary 6, 1993Distributed by Warner Bros.
SommersbyFebruary 5, 1993Distributed by Warner Bros.
Falling DownFebruary 26, 1993Distributed by Warner Bros.
CliffhangerMay 28, 1993Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Made in AmericaMay 28, 1993Distributed by Warner Bros.
Free WillyJuly 16, 1993Distributed by Warner Bros.
That NightAugust 27, 1993Distributed by Warner Bros.
Heaven & EarthDecember 25, 1993Distributed by Warner Bros.
The CrowMay 13, 1994Distributed by Miramax
Pulp FictionOctober 14, 1994Distributed by Miramax
StargateOctober 28, 1994Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Murder in the FirstJanuary 20, 1995Distributed by Warner Bros.
Free Willy 2: The Adventure HomeJuly 19, 1995Distributed by Warner Bros.
CarringtonSeptember 22, 1995Distributed by Gramercy Pictures
Leaving Las VegasOctober 27, 1995Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Cutthroat IslandDecember 22, 1995Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Free Willy 3: The RescueAugust 8, 1997Distributed by Warner Bros.
KundunDecember 25, 1997Distributed by Touchstone Pictures
The IdiotsMay 20, 1998Distributed by USA Films
ElizabethSeptember 8, 1998Distributed by Gramercy Pictures
Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Picture
Ghost DogMay 18, 1999Distributed by Artisan Entertainment
The Straight StoryMay 21, 1999Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Notting HillMay 28, 1999Distributed by Universal Pictures
The Ninth GateAugust 25, 1999Distributed by Artisan Entertainment
Season's BeatingsNovember 24, 1999


Title Release date Notes
BruiserFebruary 13, 2000
U-571April 21, 2000Distributed by Universal Pictures
Cecil B. DementedAugust 11, 2000Distributed by Artisan Entertainment
The Man Who CriedSeptember 2, 2000Distributed by Universal Pictures
The Weight of WaterSeptember 9, 2000Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Billy ElliotSeptember 28, 2000Distributed by Universal Pictures
Lucky NumbersOctober 27, 2000Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Murderous MaidsNovember 22, 2000
O Brother, Where Art Thou?December 22, 2000Distributed by Universal Pictures (International) and Touchstone Pictures (US)
Harrison's FlowersJanuary 24, 2001Distributed by Universal Pictures
Brotherhood of the WolfJanuary 31, 2001Distributed by Universal Pictures
Bridget Jones's DiaryApril 4, 2001Distributed by Universal Pictures
Mullholland DriveMay 16, 2001Distributed by Universal Pictures
Human NatureMay 18, 2001Distributed by New Line Cinema
BullyJune 15, 2001Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Brooklyn BabylonAugust 17, 2001Distributed by Artisan Entertainment
Captain Corelli's MandolinAugust 17, 2001Distributed by Universal Pictures
Sex and LuciaAugust 24, 2001Distributed by Palm Pictures
Chasing SleepSeptember 16, 2001
ChaosOctober 3, 2001
Long Time DeadJanuary 18, 2002Distributed by Focus Features
40 Days and 40 NightsMarch 1, 2002Distributed by Universal Pictures
Ali G IndahouseMarch 22, 2002Distributed by Universal Pictures
About a BoyApril 26, 2002Distributed by Universal Pictures
All or NothingMay 17, 2002Distributed by United Artists
IrréversibleMay 22, 2002Distributed by Mars Film Distribution
The PianistMay 24, 2002Distributed by Universal Pictures
Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Picture
The Red SirenAugust 22, 2002Distributed by Haut et Court
The GuruAugust 23, 2002Distributed by Universal Pictures
My Little EyeSeptember 10, 2002Distributed by Universal Pictures
ChicagoDecember 27, 2002Distributed by Miramax
Ned KellyMarch 27, 2003Distributed by Universal Pictures
Johnny EnglishApril 11, 2003Distributed by Universal Pictures
The Shape of ThingsMay 9, 2003Distributed by Universal Pictures
DogvilleMay 19, 2003Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Kill Bill: Volume 1October 10, 2003Distributed by Miramax
Love ActuallyNovember 7, 2003Distributed by Universal Pictures
Shaun of the DeadMarch 9, 2004Distributed by Universal Pictures
CleanMarch 27, 2004Distributed by Palm Pictures
Kill Bill: Volume 2April 16, 2004Distributed by Miramax
The Calcium KidApril 30, 2004Distributed by Universal Pictures
Riding GiantsJuly 21, 2004Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
ThunderbirdsJuly 23, 2004Distributed by Universal Pictures
Intimate StrangersJuly 30, 2004Distributed by Paramount Pictures
WimbledonSeptember 17, 2004Distributed by Universal Pictures
Bridget Jones: The Edge of ReasonNovember 8, 2004Distributed by Universal Pictures
The InterpreterApril 8, 2005Distributed by Universal Pictures
Pride and PrejudiceSeptember 11, 2005Distributed by Universal Pictures
Nanny McPheeOctober 21, 2005Distributed by Universal Pictures
The MatadorDecember 30, 2005Distributed by Miramax
RenaissanceMarch 15, 2006Distributed by Miramax
United 93April 28, 2006Distributed by Universal Pictures
Franklin and the Turtle Lake TreasureSeptember 6, 2006Distributed by HBO Video
Inland EmpireSeptember 6, 2006Distributed by 518 Media
Sixty SixNovember 3, 2006Distributed by First Independent Pictures
Smokin' AcesDecember 9, 2006Distributed by Universal Pictures
The Good ShepherdDecember 22, 2006Distributed by Universal Pictures
Son of RambowJanuary 22, 2007Distributed by Paramount Vantage
Hot FuzzFebruary 14, 2007Distributed by Universal Pictures
GoneMarch 9, 2007Distributed by Universal Pictures
Mr. Bean's HolidayMarch 24, 2007Distributed by Universal Pictures
AtonementAugust 29, 2007Distributed by Universal Pictures
Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Picture
Sa majesté MinorOctober 10, 2007
Elizabeth: The Golden AgeOctober 12, 2007Distributed by Universal Pictures
Definitely, MaybeFebruary 14, 2008Distributed by Universal Pictures
Wild ChildAugust 15, 2008Distributed by Universal Pictures
Burn After ReadingAugust 27, 2008Distributed by Universal Pictures
RocknRollaSeptember 5, 2008Distributed by Warner Bros.
Frost/NixonOctober 15, 2008Distributed by Universal Pictures
Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Picture
The Boat That RockedApril 1, 2009Distributed by Universal Pictures
State of PlayApril 17, 2009Distributed by Universal Pictures
The SoloistApril 24, 2009Distributed by Paramount Pictures
ChloeSeptember 13, 2009Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
One for the RoadSeptember 23, 2009Distributed by Wild Bunch
Universal Soldier: RegenerationOctober 1, 2009
A Serious ManOctober 2, 2009Distributed by Focus Features
Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Picture


Title Release date Notes
Green ZoneFebruary 26, 2010Distributed by Universal Pictures
Nanny McPhee and the Big BangMarch 26, 2010Distributed by Universal Pictures
BabiesMay 17, 2010Distributed by Universal Pictures
A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's AdventuresAugust 4, 2010
The Last ExorcismAugust 27, 2010Distributed by Lionsgate Films
SennaOctober 7, 2010Distributed by Universal Pictures
The TouristDecember 10, 2010Distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment
TyrannosaurJanuary 21, 2011Distributed by Strand Releasing
UnknownFebruary 18, 2011Distributed by Warner Bros.
Attack the BlockMarch 12, 2011Distributed by Screen Gems
Tinker Tailor Soldier SpySeptember 5, 2011Distributed by Universal Pictures
Johnny English RebornOctober 7, 2011Distributed by Universal Pictures
ContrabandJanuary 13, 2012Distributed by Universal Pictures
Big MiracleFebruary 3, 2012Distributed by Universal Pictures
The Dinosaur ProjectAugust 10, 2012
A Turtle's Tale 2: Sammy's Escape from ParadiseAugust 15, 2012
Anna KareninaSeptember 7, 2012Distributed by Focus Features
The Place Beyond the PinesSeptember 7, 2012Distributed by Universal Pictures
End of WatchSeptember 21, 2012Distributed by Open Road Films
FlightOctober 14, 2012Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Universal Soldier: Day of ReckoningOctober 25, 2012Distributed by Magnolia Pictures
Broken CityJanuary 18, 2013
The Way, Way BackJanuary 21, 2013Distributed by 20th Century Fox
I Give It a YearFebruary 8, 2013Distributed by Magnolia Pictures
The Last Exorcism Part IIFebruary 28, 2013Distributed by CBS Films
Evil DeadMarch 8, 2013Distributed by TriStar Pictures
The Bling RingMay 15, 2013Distributed by A24 Films
Young & BeautifulMay 16, 2013
Inside Llewyn DavisMay 19, 2013Distributed by CBS Films
The World's EndJuly 10, 2013Distributed by Universal Pictures
Alan Partridge: Alpha PapaAugust 7, 2013Distributed by Magnolia Pictures
MindscapeOctober 13, 2013Distributed by Warner Bros.
Chinese PuzzleOctober 16, 2013Distributed by Universal Pictures
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and DisappearedDecember 25, 2013Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
'71February 7, 2014
Non-StopFebruary 28, 2014Distributed by Universal Pictures
The Two Faces of JanuaryApril 16, 2014Distributed by Universal Pictures
Elle l'adoreJune 18, 2014
The House of MagicJuly 25, 2014
Before I Go to SleepSeptember 4, 2014Distributed by 20th Century Fox
The Imitation GameNovember 21, 2014Distributed by The Weinstein Company
Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Picture
PaddingtonDecember 12, 2014Distributed by StudioCanal; licensed to The Weinstein Company in North America
Shaun the Sheep MovieFebruary 6, 2015Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Production company Aardman Animations
Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature
The GunmanMarch 20, 2015Distributed by Open Road Films
CarolMay 17, 2015 (Cannes)Distributed by StudioCanal and The Weinstein Company
Production companies Number 9 Films · Killer Films · Film4 Productions
Man UpMay 29, 2015
We Are Your FriendsAugust 28, 2015Distributed by Warner Bros.
LegendSeptember 9, 2015Distributed by Universal Pictures
Blinky Bill the MovieSeptember 17, 2015Distributed by Shout! Factory
Production company Flying Bark Productions
MacbethOctober 2, 2015Distributed by The Weinstein Company
The ProgramOctober 16, 2015Distributed by Momentum Pictures
YouthJanuary 29, 2016Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures
A Bigger SplashFebruary 12, 2016Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures
Bastille DayApril 22, 2016Distributed by Focus Features
Knight of CupsMay 6, 2016Distributed by Broad Green Pictures
Our Kind of TraitorJuly 1, 2016Distributed by Roadside Attractions
Swallows and AmazonsAugust 19, 2016
Hell or High WaterAugust 26, 2016Distributed by Lionsgate
Dance Academy: The MovieApril 6, 2017Distributed by StudioCanal
MindhornMay 5, 2017Distributed by StudioCanal
JalouseNovember 8, 2017Distributed by StudioCanal
Paddington 2November 12, 2017Distributed by StudioCanal; licensed to Warner Bros. in North America and Spain
Early ManJanuary 26, 2018Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Production company Aardman Animations
The MercyFebruary 9, 2018
7 Days in EntebbeMarch 16, 2018Distributed by Focus Features
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyApril 20, 2018Production company Blueprint Pictures
YardieAugust 24, 2018Distributed by StudioCanal UK
Johnny English Strikes AgainOctober 12, 2018Distributed by Universal Pictures
Cold PursuitFebruary 8, 2019Distributed by Summit Entertainment
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon18 October 2019Distributed by Lions Gate Entertainment
Production company Aardman Animations


  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. Lambie, Ryan (March 11, 2014). "The rise and fall of Carolco". Den of Geek. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
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  12. &source=gale&prodId=TTDA&userGroupName=slnsw_public&tabID=T003&docPage=article&searchType=BasicSearchForm&docId=CS352805509&type=multipage&contentSet=LTO&version=1.0 "A.B. Pictures Acquire 50% Of Anglo Amalgamated." Times [London, England] April 5, 1962: 21. The Times Digital Archive. Web. April 6, 2014
  13. "Associated British Picture Corporation." Sunday Times [London, England] September 3, 1967: 44. The Sunday Times Digital Archive. Web. March 29, 2014.
  14. "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.
  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.
  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.
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