“Valerian” Isn’t As Big A Risk As It Appears

There’s several big gambles at the movies this Summer, but arguably none is bigger than Luc Besson’s independently funded sci-fi comic adaptation “Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets”.

Boasting a massive price tag of $210 million U.S. dollars, it would appear on the surface that Besson has staked the future of his EuropaCorp studio on the movie. However, in a new interview with Screen, Besson reveals that the film has already paid for itself and the economic risks involved are minimal:

“Like every film company, we will only greenlight a project if at least 80% of its budget is covered. With ‘Valerian,’ we’ve covered 96% of the budget with pre-sales. The risk to EuropaCorp is 4% of the budget so there’s no actual financial risk. The risk for the company is more one of notoriety. If the film is a big flop, we’ll lose credibility for making these sorts of films. The risk is not financial, but rather human.”

As one of the few original tentpole features opening this Summer, the movie does stand a better chance than expected domestically considering how U.S. domestic audiences are obviously engulfed in franchise fatigue and are staying away in droves this season.

How the reviews for the film play out though will have an impact. “Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets” opens on July 21st.