Valerian Laureline exploring the touristy desert

It's no secret that movie studios have been engaging theatrical exhibitors in new and exciting ways to promote their latest films. STX Films is the latest studio to do just that, as they've agreed to give audiences a special sneak peek at the opening scene to Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets as early as next weekend. So if you're going to see Spider-Man: Homecoming, you may want to read on, as certain 3D and Premium Large Format showings will be your ticket to this early look.

Theater chains AMC Theaters, B&B Theaters, Cinemark, Emagine Entertainment and Harkins Theaters are all confirmed to be a part of this promotion, with "select regional circuits" being tauted as joining in on this Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets exclusive. The scene that opens the latest film from writer/director Luc Besson will encapsulate the creation of the titular city, also known as Space Station Alpha. So before you go booking tickets thinking you'll get some Dane DeHaan/Cara Delevingne action on the big screen, you might want to temper those expectations.

It's not the first time another studio's film has been used to promote a special excerpt from an upcoming project. Hell, it isn't the first time a Spider-Man movie has done it, as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 basically used a mid-credits spot to promote X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014. While those films at least shared Marvel Comics lineage, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets does not have that same connection.

This more than likely explains why the film's first scene is being used as a sort of pre-show trailer, rather than any sort of post-credits tease. Besides, Spider-Man: Homecoming already has that area covered, as there are reportedly two extra scenes to cap off Jon Watts' introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though, as Deadline has explained, this strategy is meant to help Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets make a better case for itself against the other big summer blockbuster it's competing against: Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk.

Seeing as both the World War II drama, and the classic comic book come to life, are both slotted for July 21st release dates, both films will need as much promotion as they can get in order to aim for the advantage. Though in the case of Christopher Nolan's historical drama, the advanced promotion game has already been in play since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. With an IMAX prologue already running, and a roadshow experience of that very sequence making its way across the country as we speak, the ground game that Dunkirk has been playing is going to be quite the obstacle for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is going to have to overcome.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and Dunkirk will be released on July 21st, but you can see Spider-Man: Homecoming as early as next Thursday night for the special sneak preview of the opening sequence..

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