Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets did not exactly do well at the domestic box office. It came out against Dunkirk, which turned out to be one of the biggest movies of the summer. The movie has been quietly coming out all over the world, and in an interview with the Italian press site Bade Taste, director Luc Besson is feeling fairly optimistic:
"I value the Italian option. And there's still Japan also to open. We still have a couple of countries. But so far there's a huge, huge fanbase for Valerian. I'm very surprised. Like I receive messages every day, I mean like people screaming for Valerian 2 already. So there's a community for sure. So it's positive."
A fanbase, a vocal one at that, is important — but the numbers are the numbers. When asked if these numbers will keep a sequel from happening, Besson didn't seem too worried:
"I wish for every director around the world to do this level of admission, you know? (Laughs) Because we're like pretty high already. What happens today, you know it's a little different than like 5 or 10 years ago. Because the way people consume the film is very different. Like people are very busy, so they go to the cinema, but you stay on screen like three weeks. Before when I start my movie like Fifth Element or Leon, you stay 12, 15, 20 weeks in theater."
Like other under performing blockbusters this year, Besson realizes that the fate of his franchise may depend on VOD and home release sales:
"Now you stay on screen for like two, three weeks and the VOD very soon, you have the DVD, the TV, so sometimes people they want to see a film and miss it, so they go there. So let's wait till the end of what we call the first circle. The first circle is really theater, VOD, DVD and to see what is the audience."
It's an important distinction to make considering that we do consume movies differently. A lot of people have less money these days, and paying to go to the theaters just isn't viable for some when Netflix and Redbox continue to exist. It'll be interesting whether or not we get another one of these.
Summary: A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, directed by Luc Besson, stars Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Herbie Hancock, and Kris Wu. It arrives on Blu-ray on November 21st.