Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
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''Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets'' (french: Valérian et la Cité des mille planètes) is a 2017
space opera Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, with use of melodramatic, risk-taking space adventures, relationships, and chivalric romance. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it features technological and soci ...
film written and directed by
Luc Besson Luc Paul Maurice Besson (; born 18 March 1959) is a French film director, screenwriter and producer. He directed or produced the films '' Subway'' (1985), '' The Big Blue'' (1988), and '' La Femme Nikita'' (1990). Besson is associated with the ...
, and produced by his wife, Virginie Besson-Silla. It is based on the French
science fiction comics Publication of comic strips and comic books focusing on science fiction became increasingly common during the early 1930s in newspapers published in the United States. They have since spread to many countries around the world. History The first ...
series ''
Valérian and Laureline ''Valérian and Laureline'' (french: Valérian et Laureline), also known as ''Valérian: Spatio-Temporal Agent'' (french: Valérian, agent spatio-temporel) or just ''Valérian'', is a French science fiction comics series, created by writer Pierr ...
'', written by Pierre Christin, illustrated by
Jean-Claude Mézières Jean-Claude Mézières (; 23 September 1938 – 23 January 2022) was a French Bande dessinée, ''bandes dessinées'' artist and illustrator. Born in Paris and raised in nearby Saint-Mandé, he was introduced to drawing by his elder brother and ...
, and published by
Dargaud Société Dargaud, doing business as Les Éditions Dargaud, is a publisher of Franco-Belgian comics series, headquartered in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. It was founded in 1936 by Georges Dargaud (), publishing its first comics in 1943. ...
. It stars Dane DeHaan as Valerian and
Cara Delevingne Cara Jocelyn Delevingne ( ; born 12 August 1992) is an English model and actress. She signed with Storm Management after leaving school in 2009. Delevingne won Model of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2012 and 2014. Delevingne st ...
as Laureline, with
Clive Owen Clive Owen (born 3 October 1964) is an English actor. He first gained recognition in the United Kingdom for playing the lead role in the ITV series '' Chancer'' from 1990 to 1991. He received critical acclaim for his work in the film '' Close ...
,
Rihanna Robyn Rihanna Fenty ( ; born February 20, 1988) is a Barbadian singer, actress, and businesswoman. Born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, Barbados, Rihanna auditioned for American record producer Evan Rogers who invited her to the ...
,
Ethan Hawke Ethan Green Hawke (born November 6, 1970) is an American actor and film director. He has been nominated for four Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and a Tony Award. Hawke has directed three feature films, three off-Broadway plays, and a ...
,
Herbie Hancock Herbert Jeffrey Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an American jazz pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, and composer. Hancock started his career with trumpeter Donald Byrd's group. He shortly thereafter joined the Miles Davis Quintet, where he help ...
,
Kris Wu Wu Yi Fan (, ; born 6 November 1990), known professionally as Kris Wu, is a Canadian former rapper, singer, actor and model, and convicted serial rapist. He is a former member of South Korean-Chinese boy band Exo and its subgroup Exo-M under SM ...
and
Rutger Hauer Rutger Oelsen Hauer (; 23 January 1944 – 19 July 2019) was a Dutch actor. In 1999, he was named by the Dutch public as the Best Dutch Actor of the Century. Hauer's career began in 1969 with the title role in the Dutch television series ' ...
in supporting roles. Besson independently financed and personally funded the film. With a production budget of around $223 million, it is both the most expensive European and
independent film An independent film, independent movie, indie film, or indie movie is a feature film or short film that is produced outside the major film studio system, in addition to being produced and distributed by independent entertainment companies (or, ...
ever made. ''Valerian'' was released in the United States on 20 July 2017 in Germany by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Germany, 21 July by
STXfilms STX Entertainment is a mini-major American entertainment and media company. Founded in March 2014 by film producer Robert Simonds, the studio produces film, television, and digital media projects. In April 2020, STX announced that it would mer ...
, in France on 26 July by EuropaCorp Distribution, in China on 25 August by
China Film Group China Film Group Corporation (CFGC), is the largest, most influential film enterprise in the People's Republic of China, owned by the Publicity Department of the Chinese Communist Party. According to ''Forbes'', it is a state monopoly that all ...
, in Belgium on 26 August by Belga Films, and 27 November in United Arab Emirates by Gulf Film. It received mixed reviews from critics, who criticized the plot and some of the casting, but praised the visuals. It grossed $225 million worldwide but, due to its high production and advertising costs, was considered a
box-office bomb A box-office bomb, or box-office disaster, is a film that is unprofitable or considered highly unsuccessful during its theatrical run. Although any film for which the production, marketing, and distribution costs combined exceed the revenue after ...
following its release in the United States.


Plot

In the 28th century, due to cooperation between the Earth and extraterrestrial peoples, the former
International Space Station The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest modular space station currently in low Earth orbit. It is a multinational collaborative project involving five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA ( ...
has been expanded until its mass threatens to cause gravitational disruption to Earth itself. Relocated to deep space, it becomes Alpha, a space-traveling city inhabited by millions of species from thousands of planets. A police division is created by the United Human Federation to preserve peace throughout the galaxy. Among its staff are the arrogant
Major Major ( commandant in certain jurisdictions) is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world. When used unhyphenated and in conjunction with no other indicat ...
Valerian and his partner, no-nonsense
Sergeant Sergeant ( abbreviated to Sgt. and capitalized when used as a named person's title) is a rank in many uniformed organizations, principally military and policing forces. The alternative spelling, ''serjeant'', is used in The Rifles and other u ...
Laureline. En route to a mission, Valerian dreams of a planet, Mül, where a low-tech
humanoid A humanoid (; from English ''human'' and '' -oid'' "resembling") is a non-human entity with human form or characteristics. The earliest recorded use of the term, in 1870, referred to indigenous peoples in areas colonized by Europeans. By the 20 ...
race lives peacefully. They fish for pearls containing enormous amounts of energy and use animals to replicate them. Wreckage begins plummeting from the sky, followed by a huge spacecraft that causes an
explosion An explosion is a rapid expansion in volume associated with an extreme outward release of energy, usually with the generation of high temperatures and release of high-pressure gases. Supersonic explosions created by high explosives are known ...
annihilating every being on the planet. Some of the inhabitants enter a discarded vessel, accidentally trapping themselves inside, but the planet's princess Lihö-Minaa is stranded outside. Just before her death, she conveys a
telepathic Telepathy () is the purported vicarious transmission of information from one person's mind to another's without using any known human sensory channels or physical interaction. The term was first coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Frederic ...
message. Shaken, Valerian awakes. Analysis reveals he might have received a signal from across time and space. He learns that his mission is to retrieve a "Mül converter". It is the last of its kind, and currently in the hands of
black market A black market, underground economy, or shadow economy is a clandestine market or series of transactions that has some aspect of illegality or is characterized by noncompliance with an institutional set of rules. If the rule defines the ...
dealer Igon Siruss. Valerian asks Laureline to marry him, but she brushes him off. In a marketplace on planet Kirian in an alternate dimension, Valerian disrupts a meeting between Igon and two hooded figures who resemble the humanoids from his vision. They seek the converter, the small animal in his vision. Valerian and Laureline recover the converter and steal one of the energy pearls. Aboard their ship, Valerian learns that Mül was destroyed 30 years earlier, and all information about it is classified. They return to Alpha where commander Arün Filitt informs them the center of the station has been irradiated by an unknown force, rendering it highly toxic. Troops sent into the area have not returned, and the radiation is increasing. Laureline and Valerian are assigned to protect the commander during an interstation summit to discuss the crisis; against the commander's wishes, Laureline maintains possession of the converter. During the summit, unidentified humanoids suddenly attack, incapacitating everyone and kidnapping Filitt. Valerian chases the kidnappers to the irradiated area but crashes his
spaceplane A spaceplane is a vehicle that can fly and glide like an aircraft in Earth's atmosphere and maneuver like a spacecraft in outer space. To do so, spaceplanes must incorporate features of both aircraft and spacecraft. Orbital spaceplanes ...
during the pursuit. Laureline enlists alien information brokers known as Dogan Daguis to track Valerian and finds him unconscious at the edge of the irradiated zone. She rouses him, but is kidnapped by a primitive tribe, the Boulan Bathors of the planet Goara, and presented at their emperor's dinner as the choice course. Valerian infiltrates the tribe's territory with the help of the shape-shifting Bubble. They rescue Laureline and escape, but Bubble is fatally wounded. Valerian and Laureline venture further into the irradiated area, discover it is not dangerous, and that it contains the remains of some antique spacecraft. They reach a large, shielded hall where they find the humanoids, known as the Pearls, with an unconscious Filitt. The Pearls' leader, Emperor Haban Limaï, explains that his people lived peacefully on Mül until a battle occurred between the Federation and another faction. Filitt, the human commander, ordered the use of fusion missiles that disabled the enemy mothership and sent it crashing into the planet, annihilating Mül. Upon her passing, Princess Lihö-Minaa transferred her soul into Valerian's body. When the surviving Pearls were trapped in a downed space vehicle from the battle, they managed to repair it and learned the humans' technology and history. They eventually came to Alpha, where they assimilated more knowledge and built a ship of their own. They needed the converter and pearl in order to launch their ship and find a planet to recreate their homeworld. Filitt admits his role in the genocide, but argues it was necessary to end the war—as was the coverup, to prevent humans from losing their credibility and influence in Alpha. Valerian and Laureline disagree, arguing that the commander is trying to avoid the consequences of his actions. When Filitt becomes belligerent, Valerian knocks him out. Valerian hands over the pearl he took from Igon, and Laureline persuades him to return the converter. While the Pearls prepare their spacecraft for takeoff, Filitt's K-Tron robot soldiers attack the Pearls and the government soldiers sent to assist Valerian, but are ultimately defeated. The spacecraft departs and Filitt is arrested. Valerian and Laureline are left adrift aboard an
Apollo Command/Service Module The Apollo command and service module (CSM) was one of two principal components of the United States Apollo spacecraft, used for the Apollo program, which landed astronauts on the Moon between 1969 and 1972. The CSM functioned as a mother sh ...
, and Laureline answers Valerian's marriage proposal with a "maybe" as they wait for rescue.


Cast

* Dane DeHaan as Valerian, a United Human Federation soldier and Laureline's partner/love interest *
Cara Delevingne Cara Jocelyn Delevingne ( ; born 12 August 1992) is an English model and actress. She signed with Storm Management after leaving school in 2009. Delevingne won Model of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2012 and 2014. Delevingne st ...
as Laureline, a United Human Federation soldier and Valerian's partner/love interest *
Clive Owen Clive Owen (born 3 October 1964) is an English actor. He first gained recognition in the United Kingdom for playing the lead role in the ITV series '' Chancer'' from 1990 to 1991. He received critical acclaim for his work in the film '' Close ...
as Arün Filitt, Valerian and Laureline's commander *
Rihanna Robyn Rihanna Fenty ( ; born February 20, 1988) is a Barbadian singer, actress, and businesswoman. Born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, Barbados, Rihanna auditioned for American record producer Evan Rogers who invited her to the ...
as the human form of Bubble, a shapeshifting Glamopod entertainer. *
Ethan Hawke Ethan Green Hawke (born November 6, 1970) is an American actor and film director. He has been nominated for four Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and a Tony Award. Hawke has directed three feature films, three off-Broadway plays, and a ...
as Jolly the Pimp, Bubble's "protector". *
Herbie Hancock Herbert Jeffrey Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an American jazz pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, and composer. Hancock started his career with trumpeter Donald Byrd's group. He shortly thereafter joined the Miles Davis Quintet, where he help ...
as Defence Minister *
Kris Wu Wu Yi Fan (, ; born 6 November 1990), known professionally as Kris Wu, is a Canadian former rapper, singer, actor and model, and convicted serial rapist. He is a former member of South Korean-Chinese boy band Exo and its subgroup Exo-M under SM ...
as Sergeant Neza *
Rutger Hauer Rutger Oelsen Hauer (; 23 January 1944 – 19 July 2019) was a Dutch actor. In 1999, he was named by the Dutch public as the Best Dutch Actor of the Century. Hauer's career began in 1969 with the title role in the Dutch television series ' ...
as The President of the World State Federation *
John Goodman John Stephen Goodman (born June 20, 1952) is an American actor. He gained national fame for his role as the family patriarch Dan Conner in the ABC comedy series ''Roseanne'' (1988–1997; 2018), for which he received a Golden Globe Award, a ...
as Igon Siruss , a Kodar'Khan pirate captain and the galaxy's most-wanted criminal * Elizabeth Debicki as Emperor Haban Limaï * Sasha Luss as Princess Lihö-Minaa *
Sam Spruell Sam Spruell (born 1 January 1977) is a British actor. He is best known for playing villainous roles in film and television including Oleg Malankov in ''Taken 3'', Finn in ''Snow White and the Huntsman'' and Swarm in '' Doctor Who: Flux''. He als ...
as General Okto Bar * Ola Rapace as Major Gibson *
Alain Chabat Alain Chabat (; born 24 November 1958) is a French actor, comedian, director, screenwriter, producer and television presenter. He was originally known for his work in the comedy group Les Nuls, including as the co-writer and lead actor of '' La ...
as Bob the Pirate * Thom Findlay as The Pirates *
Mathieu Kassovitz Mathieu Kassovitz (; born 3 August 1967) is a French actor, film director, film producer and screenwriter. He is the founder of MNP Entreprise, a film production company. He has won three César Awards: Most Promising Actor for '' See How They ...
as Camelot on Big Market * Jonas Bloquet as K-Tron Warrior/Control Room Soldier *
Sand Van Roy Sandrine Van Roy is a Belgian-Dutch actress and advocate for victims of sexual violence. Born in Heerlen, Netherlands, daughter of two general practitioners, she moved to Paris at the age of 17. She worked as a model before turning to comedy. ...
as Jessica Rabbit Creature *
Louis Leterrier Louis Leterrier (; born 17 June 1973) is a French film director and producer. Best known for his work in action films, he directed the first two '' Transporter'' films (2002–2005), '' Unleashed'' (2005), ''The Incredible Hulk'' (2008), '' Clas ...
as Captain Welcoming Mercurys * Olivier Megaton as Captain Welcoming KCO2 * Gavin Drea as Sergeant Cooper * Eric Lampaert as Guide Thaziit, a human guiding tourists in the Big Market * Claire Tran as Control room Sergeant


Production


Development

Although Luc Besson loved the Valerian comics while growing up, he did not seriously consider adapting them into a movie until he was working on ''
The Fifth Element ''The Fifth Element'' is a 1997 English-language French science fiction action film conceived and directed by Luc Besson, as well as co-written by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. It stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Chris Tucker, and Milla Jo ...
.'' During development, Besson had tapped Valerian illustrator
Jean-Claude Mézières Jean-Claude Mézières (; 23 September 1938 – 23 January 2022) was a French Bande dessinée, ''bandes dessinées'' artist and illustrator. Born in Paris and raised in nearby Saint-Mandé, he was introduced to drawing by his elder brother and ...
to work on the film, who asked Besson, "Why are you doing this shitty film? Why you don’t do Valerian?" At the time, Besson felt that making the film was "impossible" given the vast alien-to-human ratio. The release of ''
Avatar Avatar (, ; ), is a concept within Hinduism that in Sanskrit literally means "descent". It signifies the material appearance or incarnation of a powerful deity, goddess or spirit on Earth. The relative verb to "alight, to make one's appearanc ...
'' served as both a blessing and a curse for Besson; he has said, "technically, I could see that we can do everything now. The film proved that imagination is the only limit." However, he also felt that "
James Cameron James Francis Cameron (born August 16, 1954) is a Canadian filmmaker. A major figure in the post-New Hollywood era, he is considered one of the industry's most innovative filmmakers, regularly pushing the boundaries of cinematic capability w ...
pushed all the levels so high", which made him believe that his script was not good enough, so he rewrote it. Ultimately, the
storyboarding A storyboard is a graphic organizer that consists of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence. The storyboarding process, in th ...
for the film took seven months. The project was first publicly reported in 2012. The two principal stars, Dane DeHaan and
Cara Delevingne Cara Jocelyn Delevingne ( ; born 12 August 1992) is an English model and actress. She signed with Storm Management after leaving school in 2009. Delevingne won Model of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2012 and 2014. Delevingne st ...
, were announced in May 2015. On 19 August 2015,
Clive Owen Clive Owen (born 3 October 1964) is an English actor. He first gained recognition in the United Kingdom for playing the lead role in the ITV series '' Chancer'' from 1990 to 1991. He received critical acclaim for his work in the film '' Close ...
signed on to play Commander Arün Filitt in the film. The budget, €197 million, is by far the largest ever assembled for a French film. Previously, ''
Asterix at the Olympic Games ''Asterix at the Olympic Games'' is the 12th comic book album in the Asterix series. Serialized in Pilote issues 434–455 in 1968 (to coincide with the Mexico City Olympics), it was translated into English in 1972 (to coincide with the Munich ...
'' was the most expensive, at €78 million, just ahead of Besson's ''The Fifth Element'' (€75 million). By the end of August 2015, Besson said in an RTL radio interview that shooting the film in France was too expensive. Because it was filmed in a foreign language (English), Besson was unable to benefit from
tax credit A tax credit is a tax incentive which allows certain taxpayers to subtract the amount of the credit they have accrued from the total they owe the state. It may also be a credit granted in recognition of taxes already paid or a form of state "dis ...
s, despite preferring to produce the film in France and create jobs for 1,200 crew members. The criteria to obtain these tax credits were then adapted accordingly. In May 2015, it was announced Fundamental Films would invest in the film.


Filming

Principal photography Principal photography is the phase of producing a film or television show in which the bulk of shooting takes place, as distinct from the phases of pre-production and post-production. Personnel Besides the main film personnel, such as act ...
on the film began on 5 January 2016 in seven
sound stage A sound stage (also written soundstage) is a soundproof, large structure, building, or room with large doors and high ceilings, used for the production of theatrical film-making and television productions, usually located on a secured movie or ...
s dedicated to the film at the Cité du cinéma, in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. In total, there are 2,734 visual effect shots. The humanoid race the Pearl were completely synthetic creations by Weta Digital, which generated the characters from performances by actors with motion-capture equipment for their face and bodies.


Marketing

The trailer featured
the Beatles The Beatles were an English Rock music, rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the Cultural impact of the Beatles, most influential band of al ...
song " Because", which marked the first time a Beatles master recording had been featured in a non-Beatles film advertisement.


Visual effects

Industrial Light and Magic Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) is an American motion picture visual effects company that was founded on May 26, 1975 by George Lucas. It is a division of the film production company Lucasfilm, which Lucas founded, and was created when he began pro ...
, Weta Digital and Rodeo FX provided the effects for the film with Scott Stokdyk as the main supervisor.


Release

The first teaser for ''Valerian'' was released on 10 November 2016. The teaser depicts Marmakas, an Entertainer (Bubble, identified as "Glamopod" in the film), Bagoulins, and Shingouz (known as "Doghan Daguis" in the film), who all appear in the
album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or another medium such as Digital distribution#Music, digital distribution. Albums of recorded sound were developed in the early ...
'' Ambassador of the Shadows''; much of the film's setting and story is also derived from that instalment. A special exclusive preview of ''Valerian'' was shown prior to the
Fathom Events Fathom Events is an entertainment content provider that broadcasts entertainment events in movie theaters throughout the United States including Metropolitan Opera Live in HD, the performing arts, major sporting events, and music concerts. The ...
4K restoration showing of ''
The Fifth Element ''The Fifth Element'' is a 1997 English-language French science fiction action film conceived and directed by Luc Besson, as well as co-written by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. It stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Chris Tucker, and Milla Jo ...
'' on 14 May and 17 May. ''Valerian'' was released in Israel on 20 July 2017, on 21 July in the United States, on 26 July in France. and on 2 August in the UK
Lionsgate Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation, doing business as Lionsgate, is a Canadian- American entertainment company. It was formed by Frank Giustra on July 10, 1997, domiciled in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and is currently headquartered i ...
handles the film's release in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and
STX Entertainment STX Entertainment is a mini-major American entertainment and media company. Founded in March 2014 by film producer Robert Simonds, the studio produces film, television, and digital media projects. In April 2020, STX announced that it would merg ...
distributes the film in the United States. The film was released on 25 August 2017 in China.


Home media

''Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets'' was released digitally on 7 November 2017, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on 21 November 2017.


Theme park attractions

In 2018,
Europa-Park Europa-Park is the largest theme park in Germany, and the second most popular theme park in Europe, after Disneyland Paris. Europa-Park is located in Rust, south-western Germany, between Freiburg im Breisgau and Strasbourg (in neighbouring Fra ...
added VR to their roller coaster, Eurosat - CanCan Coaster themed around ''Valerian'' as part of the roller coaster's refurbishment.


Soundtrack

The official soundtrack for ''Valerian'' was released on 21 July 2017 on
Vinyl Vinyl may refer to: Chemistry * Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a particular vinyl polymer * Vinyl cation, a type of carbocation * Vinyl group, a broad class of organic molecules in chemistry * Vinyl polymer, a group of polymers derived from vinyl ...
, CD, and Digital download. The total duration of this soundtrack album is exactly the same number of minutes as the duration of the film itself — 137 minutes.


Track listing


Reception


Box office

''Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets'' grossed $40.5 million in the United States and Canada and $184.7 million internationally (including $36.8 million in France), for a worldwide total of $225.2 million. With a production budget around $180 million, the film would have needed to gross $400 million worldwide in order to
break even Break-even (or break even), often abbreviated as B/E in finance, (sometimes called point of equilibrium) is the point of balance making neither a profit nor a loss. Any number below the break-even point constitutes a loss while any number above it ...
and justify a sequel. In North America, ''Valerian'' opened alongside ''
Dunkirk Dunkirk (french: Dunkerque ; vls, label=French Flemish, Duunkerke; nl, Duinkerke(n) ; , ;) is a commune in the department of Nord in northern France.Girls Trip ''Girls Trip'' is a 2017 American comedy film starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, and Jada Pinkett Smith. The film is directed by Malcolm D. Lee and written by Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver, from a story by the pair and Erica ...
'', and was initially projected to gross $20–25 million from 3,553 theaters, although some insiders believed it would open in the teens. It made $6.5 million on its first day, including $1.7 million from Thursday night previews at 2,600 theaters, lowering weekend projections to $16.5 million. The film ended up debuting to $17 million, finishing 5th at the box office, leading
Deadline Hollywood ''Deadline Hollywood'', commonly known as ''Deadline'' and also referred to as ''Deadline.com'', is an online news site founded as the news blog ''Deadline Hollywood Daily'' by Nikki Finke in 2006. The site is updated several times a day, w ...
to already label the film a domestic
box office bomb A box-office bomb, or box-office disaster, is a film that is unprofitable or considered highly unsuccessful during its theatrical run. Although any film for which the production, marketing, and distribution costs combined exceed the revenue after ...
, and causing an 8.31% fall of the EuropaCorp stock on the following Monday. In its second weekend, the film dropped 62% to $6.4 million, finishing 8th at the box office. In its third and fourth weekends the film made $2.4 million and $901,323, finishing 12th and 17th and dropping another 62% both times. Outside North America, the film opened in 16 markets alongside the US and made $6.5 million over its opening weekend, including $2.5 million in Germany. In France, the film made $3.72 million (€3.19 million) on its first day, the second-best opening day of 2017 there behind ''
Despicable Me 3 ''Despicable Me 3'' is a 2017 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Illumination and distributed by Universal Pictures. It is the sequel to ''Despicable Me 2'' (2013), the third main installment, and the fourth installment overall ...
''. In China, the film made $9.9 million on its first day from 78,000 screens, becoming the first film to displace '' Wolf Warriors 2'' at the country's box office. It went on to open to $29 million, topping the box office. The largest territory for the film was China, with .


Critical response

''Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets'' received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its visuals while criticizing the plot and some of the casting. On review aggregation website
Rotten Tomatoes Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley: Senh Duong, Patrick Y. Lee, and Stephen Wan ...
, the film has an approval rating of 48% based on 300 reviews, with an average rating of 5.50/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "''Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets'' uses sheer kinetic energy and visual thrills to overcome narrative obstacles and offer a viewing experience whose surreal pleasures often outweigh its flaws." On
Metacritic Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews of films, TV shows, music albums, video games and formerly, books. For each product, the scores from each review are averaged (a weighted average). Metacritic was created by Jason Dietz, Marc ...
, which assigns a
weighted average The weighted arithmetic mean is similar to an ordinary arithmetic mean (the most common type of average), except that instead of each of the data points contributing equally to the final average, some data points contribute more than others. The ...
rating to reviews, the film has a score of 51 out of 100, based on reviews from 45 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". On French entertainment information website AlloCiné, the film has an average grade of 3.0/5, based on 31 critics. Audiences polled by
CinemaScore CinemaScore is a market research firm based in Las Vegas. It surveys film audiences to rate their viewing experiences with letter grades, reports the results, and forecasts box office receipts based on the data. Background Ed Mintz founded Ci ...
gave the film an average grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale. David Ehrlich of
IndieWire IndieWire (sometimes stylized as indieWIRE or Indiewire) is a film industry and review website that was established in 1996. The site's focus was predominantly independent film, although its coverage has grown to "to include all aspects of Holly ...
gave the film a grade of B−, praising how "unapologetically
idiosyncratic An idiosyncrasy is an unusual feature of a person (though there are also other uses, see below). It can also mean an odd habit. The term is often used to express eccentricity or peculiarity. A synonym may be " quirk". Etymology The term "idiosync ...
" the film is, while also saying "the vividness of this place only underscores the lifelessness of the people leading us through it .... There are 394 million stories on the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian’s might be the only one we’ve seen before. Still, any excuse to visit this place is one worth taking." Peter Sciretta of
/Film ''/Film'', also spelled ''Slashfilm'', is a blog that covers movie news, reviews, interviews, and trailers. It was founded by Peter Sciretta in August 2005. Podcasts Six podcasts have run on the site. ''The /Filmcast'', hosted by David Chen, De ...
touted the first half of ''Valerian'' as "unpredictable and bonkers insane", while calling the second half more formulaic and "far less exciting", though he still encouraged seeing the film in 3D "on the biggest screen possible". Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of ''
The A.V. Club ''The A.V. Club'' is an American online newspaper and entertainment website featuring reviews, interviews, and other articles that examine films, music, television, books, games, and other elements of pop-culture media. ''The A.V. Club'' was cr ...
'' wrote that it was "rare to see a film this extravagant that also feels, for better or worse, like the work of a single personality. The longer action scenes may not always rank with Besson’s early ’90s highlights ..or the mania of the more recent '' Lucy'', but there isn’t a moment in this ludicrous, lushly self-indulgent movie that doesn’t feel like its creator is having the time of his life."
Todd McCarthy Todd McCarthy (born February 16, 1950) is an American film critic and author. He wrote for ''Variety'' for 31 years as its chief film critic until 2010. In October of that year, he joined ''The Hollywood Reporter'', where he subsequently served ...
of ''
The Hollywood Reporter ''The Hollywood Reporter'' (''THR'') is an American digital and print magazine which focuses on the Cinema of the United States, Hollywood film industry, film, television, and entertainment industries. It was founded in 1930 as a daily trade pap ...
'' gave a negative review, saying: " The Razzies don't need to wait until the end of the year to anoint a winner for 2017 ... Hollywood studio chiefs can breathe easy that, this time, at least, they'll escape blame for making a giant summer franchise picture that nobody wants to see, since this one's a French import." A. O. Scott of ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' (''the Times'', ''NYT'', or the Gray Lady) is a daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership reported in 2020 to comprise a declining 840,000 paid print subscribers, and a growing 6 million paid ...
'' was also less than happy with the film, writing the effort "feels as if it were made up on the spot, by someone so delighted by the gaudy genre packaging at his disposal that he lost track of what was supposed to be inside."
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film critic, Mark Jenkins, additionally wrote in a negative review that the film's "perspective often seems more 19th- than 26th-century, notably in a sequence where Laureline is captured by members of a hostile species and forced to don a white dress to be presented to their emperor. The blobby computer-generated creatures resemble natives from the most racist of ''Tarzan'' movies."


Accolades


Potential sequel

Despite the film being a disappointment at the box office, director Luc Besson claimed in September 2017 that a sequel was still possible due to positive fan reaction.


See also

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List of films featuring space stations There is a body of films that feature space stations. Science fiction films have featured both real-life space stations such as the International Space Station and '' Mir'' as well as fictional ones such as the Death Star and the Satellite of Lov ...


References


External links

* * * * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 2010s adventure films 2010s romance films 2017 science fiction action films 2017 3D films 2017 films English-language French films EuropaCorp films Films about shapeshifting Films about extraterrestrial life Fiction about intergalactic travel Films based on French comics Films directed by Luc Besson Films produced by Luc Besson Films scored by Alexandre Desplat Films set in the 22nd century Films set in the 26th century Films set in the 28th century Films set on fictional planets Films set on spacecraft Films shot in Paris Films with screenplays by Luc Besson French 3D films French action adventure films French romance films French science fiction action films French science fiction adventure films Fundamental Films films Genocide in fiction Lionsgate films Live-action films based on comics Films using motion capture Science fantasy films Space adventure films Space opera films STX Entertainment films Valérian and Laureline 2010s English-language films 2010s French films