StudioCanal UK

StudioCanal UK (formerly Optimum Releasing)[1] is the official branch of StudioCanal in both the United Kingdom and Ireland. The company releases many films, including foreign, anime (mostly Studio Ghibli), independent, art, British, Irish and American films in the United Kingdom and sometimes Ireland.

StudioCanal Limited
IndustryFilm distributor
FoundedMay 1999
ProductsFeature films
OwnerCanal+ Group (100%)
SubsidiariesElevation Sales (joint venture with Lionsgate UK)


Optimum Releasing (1999–2011)

When named Optimum, the company's image was that of a modern and independent distributor of new releases and back catalogues. Films were released under four strands: Optimum Releasing (new theatrical releases), Optimum Home Entertainment (new DVD and Blu ray releases), Optimum Classic (DVD re-releases of back catalogue films), and Optimum World (new and back catalogue world cinema releases).

The latter three appear still to be in use, despite the name change to StudioCanal.

Optimum released over two hundred films a year and were one of the most prominent distributors in the independent film and world cinema market in the United Kingdom since the closure of Tartan Films in June 2008. Kill List, The Guard, and a re release of Whisky Galore! were the last titles released under the Optimum Releasing banner.[2]

StudioCanal UK (2011–present)

In May 2006, Optimum Releasing was acquired by French film producer and distributor StudioCanal, a subsidiary of Vivendi's Canal+ Group, thus marking StudioCanal's first entry into an international market.[3]

Since then, StudioCanal now distributes their back classic British film catalogue which includes many from their libraries of Carolco Pictures and EMI Films, through Optimum Releasing under the Optimum Classic collection strand. In September 2011, Optimum Releasing was renamed StudioCanal. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Tyrannosaur, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, The Awakening, and W.E. were among the first films released under the new name.[2]


  1. Hopewell, John (2011-06-30). "StudioCanal rebrands Optimum, Kinowelt". Variety. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  3. James, Alison; Dawtrey, Adam (2006-05-07). "Studio Canal moves into Blighty". Variety. Retrieved 2011-09-04.

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