Finance | July 17, 2017 1:21 pm

Can the Most Expensive Indie Film in History Break Even?

It looks to be an uphill battle for 'Valerian,' a $180 million sci-fi movie.

Can 'Valerian,' the World's Most Expensive Indie Film, Break Even?
(left to right) Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne star as Valerian and Laureline in 'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.' (EuropaCorp)

Usually when you think “independent film,” it’s something along the lines of Clerks or Manhattan Night—not some multimillion-dollar summer blockbuster starring a model, pop star, and the world’s greatest supporting actor.

But that’s exactly what Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which opens in theaters this Friday, is. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the film is believed to be the priciest indie film in history, with a $180 million production budget. The film was shot in 3-D, and features big names such as supermodel Cara Delevingne, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, and pop star Rihanna.

It has an uphill battle, though, not only with competition from already released blockbusters Spider-Man: Homecoming and War for the Planet of the Apes already out in theaters, but also due to its foreign origins: It’s based on a French comic book. That, and it’s not part of the myriad films that sport a “universe” of previously screen-tested characters like the Marvel or DC universe films.

But audiences will know director Luc Besson from cult sci-fi hit The Fifth Element and indie classics like Léon: The Professional, and his new film has been compared to Avatar and Star Wars.

Watch the trailer for Valerian below.