×

EuropaCorp’s Stock Value Drops in Wake of ‘Valerian’s’ Poor Opening Weekend

The disastrous opening weekend in the U.S. of Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” has left EuropaCorp with a hangover, as the Paris-based company saw its stock value drop by 8.31% by the close of trading on Monday.

EuropaCorp’s stock price fell to 3.53 euros ($4.11) in the wake of “Valerian’s” performance at the U.S. box office over the weekend.

Believed to be the most expensive independent movie of all time with a budget of $180 million, “Valerian” grossed just $17 million from 3,553 theaters and landed in fifth place, behind “War for the Planet of the Apes,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Girls Trip” and Christopher Nolan’s World War II movie “Dunkirk,” which surpassed expectations and received glowing reviews.

“Valerian,” based on a French comic book series, stars Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne as a pair of futuristic, time-traveling crime fighters. Rihanna also stars.

Tim Westcott, senior analyst at London-based IHS, pointed out the risky strategy of first launching in the U.S. a film like “Valerian,” which is not a DC Comics or Marvel franchise and is based on an unknown property outside of Europe.

Popular on Variety

Aside from the U.S., the film has now opened in Canada, Israel and Germany, among other markets, but has yet to roll out in more than 100 territories, notably in France (July 26) and the U.K. (Aug. 2). The release in China, where it’s expected to be released on 9,000 screens, has been delayed.

But the fact that “Valerian” failed to click with U.S. audiences from the get-go is casting a shadow on the movie’s prospects.

“Previous EuropaCorp film such as ‘Taken’ and ‘Lucy’ have done well in the U.S. as well as worldwide. If ‘Valerian’ turns out to be a flop in the U.S., it will be very difficult to compensate in international markets considering the size of the budget,” said Westcott.

By comparison, “Lucy,” which cost $40 million to make, grossed $43.8 million during its opening weekend in the U.S. and went on to take $463 million worldwide.

Although EuropaCorp has a limited risk on “Valerian” – about 90% of the film’s budget was financed with pre-sales and equity investment, Besson says – it desperately needs the film to be hit as the company just posted record losses of 119.9 million euros ($135 million) for the fiscal year ending March 31.

A EuropaCorp spokesperson told Variety last month that the company has limited its exposure to less than $20 million on “Valerian” but is nevertheless “looking towards a significant performance from ‘Valerian’ in the hopes of creating the company’s newest franchise.”

“Valerian” has to make $400 million worldwide to help EuropaCorp climb into the black and justify a sequel, according to several financial analysts, including Pavel Govciyan, an analyst at Natixis.

“Valerian” was released in the U.S. by STX Films, which was hired by EuropaCorp in January to handle distribution and marketing for the movie after the collapse of Relativity Media, with which EuropaCorp had formed a joint distribution venture.

The timing of the release had reportedly been debated within the company, which considered pushing it back to August when there would be less competition. EuropaCorp’s decision to stick with the date was seen as a sign of confidence in the material.

More Film

  • 'The Salt of Tears' Review: Philippe

    'The Salt of Tears': Film Review

    Handsome twentysomething Luc is a trainee joiner, a craft inherited from his doting single dad: a man at once proud of his son’s continuation of their trade, and hopeful that he’ll do something greater with it. When Luc asks his father if he ever wanted to design furniture rather than simply build it, the reply [...]

  • Time to Hunt

    'Time to Hunt': Film Review

    As context for those unaware, South Korea does not have the equivalent of the United States’ Second Amendment. Instead, the country enforces strict gun control — privately owned weapons must be stored at the police station — and fatal shootings hardly ever happen there. That’s important to know when watching Korean movies: It explains why [...]

  • SF Studios, Cinematic Inc. Join Forces

    SF Studios, Cinematic Inc. Join Forces on 'Comet in Moominland,' 'When the Doves Disappeared,' 'Omerta'

    SF Studios is joining forces with Antti J. Jokinen’s leading Finnish production banner Cinematic Inc. to develop and produce the animated feature “Comet in Moominland” and “When the Doves Disappeared,” adapted from Sofi Oksanen’s bestseller. “Comet in Moominland” and “When the Doves Disappeared” are being made by both companies as part of a five-picture deal. [...]

  • Tiger Rising

    Exclusive First Look: 'The Tiger Rising' Starring Queen Latifah

    Queen Latifah and Madalen Mills star in Ray Giarratana’s “The Tiger Rising.” The drama is based on Kate DiCamillo’s New York Times Bestselling children’s book and produced by Deborah Giarratana and Ryan Donnell Smith.  Highland Film Group is handling worldwide sales, which are under at the European Film Market in Berlin. The Tiger Rising” is [...]

  • The Berlinale Bear is Seen in

    Berlinale Enlivened by Anti-Chile State Violence Protests

    A politically charged Berlin Film Festival was further enlivened on the third day of the European Film Market by a demonstration targeting Chilean armed forces. On Saturday, the Martin Gropius Bau, the site of the EFM, saw a group of anonymous protestors unfurl a big banner from one of the market’s upper floors, with activists [...]

  • Vadim Perelman, Ilja Zofin, Lars Eidinger

    'Persian Lessons' Eidinger, Perelman Say Film Offers Parallels for Today

    Director Vadim Perelman and frequent Berlinale film star Lars Eidinger on Saturday championed their new Holocaust-set “Persian Lessons” as a timely, very German tale of how that dark history is closer to us than it seems, made uniquely possible by the fact that most of the film’s production team is not German. The film’s world [...]

  • Uppercase Print

    'Uppercase Print': Film Review

    History is a fanged presence in Romanian director Radu Jude’s recent films. Since 2015’s “Aferim!,” in both fiction and nonfiction formats, culminating in the heady tangle of the two approaches that was 2018’s remarkable “I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians,” Jude has interrogated various incidents and epochs in his [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content