‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ Gets China Release Date

Chinese authorities have given an Aug. 25 release date to Luc Besson’s sci-fi epic “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”

EuropaCorp’s “Valerian” will be one of the first imported films allowed into China following the usual summer blackout period. A rep for the company confirmed the date to Variety. An official announcement is expected to come later this week.

“Valerian” flopped in its U.S. opening, debuting to $17 million, and caused the Paris-based company’s stock value to slide.

The film was released in 16 international markets, where it took in $25 million. It opened on Wednesday in Besson’s home territory of France with $3.7 million with 375,400 admissions on 970 screens for the second-highest first day of the year after “Despicable Me 3.”

China’s Fundamental Films has invested as much as $50 million in “Valerian,” an adaptation of the French comic series.

The movie stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne as 28th century special agents preventing the destruction of the universe. The bulk of the $180 million production budget was covered with foreign pre-sales, equity financing, and tax subsidies. STX took on marketing and distribution in the U.S. after EuropaCorp’s partner Relativity Media floundered.

Besson’s most recent movie was 2014’s “Lucy,” starring Scarlett Johannson.” It was a major success with more than $460 million in worldwide box office on a $40 million budget.

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