I really, really want Luc Besson’s Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets to do well. The trailers have promised a mind-meltingly, beautiful psychedelic science fiction fantasy that looks to be taking design cues from The Fifth Element. In comparison to the other blockbusters on offer this summer, it stands out by a mile, promising a shot of neon-soaked beauty against the gritty concrete cityscapes of its competition.
But it looks like it’s got its work cut out for it in attracting an audience. First, there’s the unwieldy name. Then there’s the fact that it’s based on a property that’s almost entirely unknown in the US. And that’s all without mentioning that it kinda looks like famous Wachowski megaflop Jupiter Ascending (which I actually really enjoyed).
Then again, Luc Besson has confounded expectations before. 2014’s very silly evolve-em-up Lucy was a surprise mega hit, grossing $463 million – over 11 times its budget. It’s Lucy’s success that has probably kicked the altogether more ambitious Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets into gear. At least the studio seems to be marketing it well, delivering stunning trailers sampling The Beatles and uh, Coolio. This TV spot continues in that vein, appearing pleased as punch to show off just how much cool stuff there is in the film.
Valerian, starring Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Ethan Hawke Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Herbie Hancock and Kris Wu, will light up theatres on July 21st. But do you think Luc Besson’s calculated risk will pay off? Or is City of a Thousand Planets poised to go the route of King Arthur? Let us know your preliminary box office predictions below.