The news was like a bombshell in the middle of the cinema: Entertainment One is stopping distributing films in cinemas in Canada. This abrupt decision has a direct impact on Les Films Seville, a subsidiary of eOne, which has had to lay off several employees and leave their offices in Rue Saint-Antoine. Since merging with Alliance Vivafilm 10 years ago, Les Films Seville has been the major leader in film distribution in Quebec.
Posted at 10:29pm
By confirming the message The press, Patrick Roy, President of Seville Films and President of Theatrical Distribution for Entertainment One, didn’t give many details. The latter is leaving his functions, his contract expired this week.
“Seville continues to exist,” he said. Some employees will keep their jobs, especially in the technical and financial areas. There is also a catalog management team. The changes announced on Tuesday only affect theatrical distribution. »
According to the commercial register, Les Films Sevilla in Quebec has between 50 and 99 employees.
It was also not possible for us to get a statement from eOne about the reasons that led the company to this high-level decision.
Recall that in 2019, just before the pandemic, the company Hasbro acquired Entertainment One for about $4 billion. The pandemic is having a profound impact on the film industry.
On Monday evening, Les Films Sevilla presented their latest film from Quebec, the dramatic comedy, on the Place des Arts in front of numerous guests vanishing lines by Catherine Chabot and Miriam Bouchard. The film was also presented Tuesday night in Quebec at the Le Clap cinema. For a time late Tuesday afternoon it was rumored that this presentation would not take place, but it was confirmed that the film was presented as planned. In addition, distribution, which begins July 6 in several Quebec theaters, is unaffected, we’re told. All contracts are honored.
On Tuesday, this announcement was received with a mixture of shock and sadness, but also with restrained astonishment in the production and distribution world. Those watching around could clearly see that something was happening.
“When we found out that Patrick [Roy] wasn’t at the Cannes Film Festival, we were wondering,” said producer and distributor Christian Larouche (Films Opale), who has worked closely with Seville. “We looked at their list of upcoming movies and there wasn’t much. But I find it very sad to see what is happening for this old company and for the employees. When a colleague is struggling, it’s never good news. »
Mr Larouche knows what he is talking about. His company experienced significant financial difficulties in the early 2010s, and Sevilla bought out its catalog of Quebec films. Mr Larouche intends to regain his titles when Seville’s rights come to an end. “I think I have 15 to 20 titles left in their catalog,” he said.
“I’m very sad,” said producer André Rouleau (Caramel Films). It’s not good news for producers to have one less distributor. »
I can’t say it was a big surprise. For some time it was felt that Seville’s appetite for theatrical film distribution was waning.
Andre Rouleau, Producer
Mr. Rouleau gives the example of the animated film Brave (The bravest), which he co-produced and which Sevilla distributed in the country in an extremely limited register.
” With Bravewe had a great success in France [1,5 million d’entrées] and Seville didn’t even want to distribute it theatrically here, he complained. I think there have been three cinemas in Canada; This is called a technical exit. Theater owners have been waiting for this film. They wanted it. Seville bought it from us, paid for it and sold it to TV. We had been given a distribution guarantee with advertising, but in the end the main shareholders didn’t want to pay a cent for the theatrical release. »
Nancy Florence Savard, who produces animated films with her Box 10e For its part, Ave Productions in Quebec believes that Seville paved the way for 3D animated feature films in Quebec. “Patrick Roy and his team were pioneers The Legend of Sarila released in 2013, she said. They did it again Nelly and Simon: Mission Yeti In 2018 and a few weeks ago they sold our movies on Netflix. It is with great sadness that I hear this news and I think of all the members of this passionate team dedicated to Quebec cinematography. »
A giant from Quebec
Seville Films was formed in late 1999 after purchasing the catalog from Behavior, a distributor that had itself purchased the Malofilm Group catalog (The Fall of the American Empire). In the interview below Have toOne of the three investors, Pierre Brousseau, indicated that one of the first films would be distributed Wines from Bath (became rebels/Lost and delirious in English) by Léa Pool.
The company was acquired by eOne in 2007. In 2012, eOne Alliance bought Vivafilm and merged the two distributors, taking the name Les Films Sevilla. The catalog of Quebec, Canadian and international films, mostly feature films but also documentaries, is impressive.
From the Quebec film industry, Seville will ensure the distribution of titles such as 10 1/2, 1987, The Seven Days of Vengeance, mummy, The dismantling, Fire, InshaAllah, mafia inc, The realm of beauty, Louis Cyr: the strongest man in the world, gabrellaetc. Let’s name among the international titles deviations, The hunger Games, John Wick, Paddington and dusk.
Patrick Roy agrees the distributor still has several upcoming Quebec titles to sign up for. “There is a responsibility to respect and there is no need to worry about any of this,” he says. There will be no negative impact on the films and producers we work with. »