Valerian 2

Did you see Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets? Don’t lie, you absolutely did not. No one did. But despite that, director Luc Besson still wants to make a Valerian sequel and claims it could happen.

Before Valerian opened to lackluster box office, Besson was talking about multiple sequels, saying that he had “finished the number 2 already and I’m writing the number 3.”

“I don’t know if we will do it, because it’s not up to me. It’s up to the audience if they like it.”

Audiences (and critics) did not like it (the movie has a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes and 6.7 IMDb user ratings), as the film failed to break even, even underperforming overseas where the comic series that inspired it is more well-known (the film which cost $177 million to make earned $40 million domestically and $179 million overseas).

The Fifth Element filmmaker isn’t letting the tepid box office receipts discourage him from hoping to revisit what he considers his passion project. Speaking with Italian website BadTaste (by way of Screen Rant), Besson said the future of the Valerian series rests in the hands of Blu-ray and VOD audiences:

“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…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.”

So it seems that the audience for the movie on home video will determine the chances of another film. Also, remember that Valerian had a bit of a failsafe built into it: Besson and his wife and producer Virginie Besson-Silla put up the funding for the film themselves and didn’t have to rely on studio money. As a result, even though the film failed to find an audience, there was no major loss to studios, which means Besson didn’t have to explain the film’s disappointment to any angry investors.

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets followed two intergalactic operatives (played by Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne) striving to maintain order in the human territories of the 28th century. The film also featured Rihanna wearing a bowler hat, and if Besson wants to attract more viewers for a sequel, he should probably consider nixing DeHaan and Delevingne entirely and focus on Rihanna. Trust me, more Rihanna in space equals more butts in seats.

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets hits Digital HD on November 7 and Blu-ray and DVD on November 21, so if you’re a person who really wants Besson to make more of these movies, consider buying at least two-dozen copies of each.

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