Luc Besson’s Sci-Fi Comic Book Epic Tanks
If you want to go see Valerian and the City of Thousand Planets, based on a European comic book series, on the big screen, you’d better do it soon. Luc Besson’s visual extravaganza, made for somewhere between $170 and $200 million, just opened in the US, and it took in only $17 million, coming in fifth for the weekend.
With more digital projection systems, it’s a lot easier to swap out underperformers and give more screens to, say, Wonder Woman (now the number one movie of the summer) or the more-successful-than-expected Dunkirk. Which is why opening weekend is so much more important than it used to be, and why films have a much shorter overall run.
Personally, I wasn’t interested, once I heard that the comic series was named after both heroes, Valérian (played by Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), but the movie only got the boy in the title. Plus, the trailer was full of overwhelming images without much story to grab onto.
If I do feel the need to see Besson’s vision of the future, I’ll watch The Fifth Element again. Which oddly, was the most expensive French movie ever made in 1997, and now this one is the most expensive French movie ever made. Maybe someone should rein him in next time. Or maybe they’re expecting this to make its money back over time.