Valérian (French for “Failure”)

06.09.2017 • Switzerland

Bill Bonner – Strategy and Council Letter (Switzerland) –

Back in Lausanne …

By the end of August, summer seemed to be coming to an end … time fell on 1 September …

But, today, the sun has made a comeback … a “kiss” of summer before the departure towards the autumn.

“The French always have something to prove …”

A friend here in Switzerland is turning his eyes to his western neighbors.

In the cinema, finance, or technology, France wants to increase its stature … believing that it can compete with Hollywood for the film … or San Francisco for technology.

Again and again, France ranks behind major projects to try to prove its skills …

Subsidies and quotas want to lend a helping hand to artists, authors, and musicians …

… and the government plans to finance start-ups to try to ward off a Silicon Valley at the gates of Paris …

Alas, the results almost always disappoint.

“Valérian,” by Frenchman Luc Besson, is part of the list of monuments to naivete …

With a budget of 170 million euros, no film in the history of France has cost as much.

BNP Paribas and TF1 present themselves as partners in the financing of the film … and its creators would have received 50 million euros of subsidies to turn it.

Vanity Fair advocated the film as a challenge to the domination of Hollywood … and the beginning of a “counter-revolution” within the industry, thanks to France.

Despite the support of the wise men at the BNP and at TF1, and the support of our leaders who saw it as the beginning of an era for France – and Europe – the result disappointed almost everyone …

Valerian died on his arrival in theaters, with revenues of 14 million euros for his introduction in theaters in the United States … signaling little interest from the audience …

According to the magazine website Looper.com, the film has committed a panoply of missteps … with shortcomings of promotion … a story taking place in the world of comics “Valerian and Laureline,” without renown in the United States … a priority for graphics at the expense of history … and actors lacking fame among the spectators …

In short, despite the multitude of energetics and polytechnicians behind the scenes of Valérian, the project did not succeed in taking off …

Bolloré In the same vein …

Many see by far the success of Hollywood for the movie … or Tokyo for cars …

“Why not do the same,” they wonder …?

However, under the surface, success in the cinema, or computing – as in real estate, or trade – is complicated a bit.

For example, the San Francisco, California area gives birth to boxes worth billions of euros every now and then …

… but for this, hundreds or thousands of entrepreneurs try, without results, to start an idea or other …

In the film, hundreds of creators turn movies or series without success … for a handful of successes going around the world …

Thus, when well-thinking people in France begin to soak their feet in an area, they generally underestimate the danger – and underestimate the effort and experience of their competitors …

A film with a budget of 170 million euros must “succeed” on many fronts at the same time … from the visual, to the characters, to the promotion of the film …

Experience often helps to avoid size errors …

But instead of seeking experience, the creators of Valérian sought the “Franco-French.”

Not surprisingly, the project failed.

The billionaire Vincent Bolloré, with a fortune of more than 5 billion euros, also set foot in the mud in 2015 with the acquisition of DailyMotion …

DailyMotion was to become the “Youtube of France.”

Why leave the control of video online to Americans …?

However, a wrinkle: Youtube does not make money …

Alphabet (the parent company of Google and Youtube) keeps the platform afloat thanks to its advances in the field of online advertising, plus its profits from Google … but even in the United States, the ship of the video online takes water …

Alphabet is not making any profit.

Netflix, despite more than 100 million subscribers worldwide, generates losses … the company must now repay more than 17 billion euros of borrowings.

Nobody seems to be able to “walk” the video online.

On the other hand, with the enthusiasm for internet actions at the moment, the markets kept Netflix afloat … and allowed Alphabet to continue its investments on Youtube.

Bolloré does not benefit from the Wall Street market to support him … nor of Silicon Valley to help him develop DailyMotion …

Its site would have seen its traffic collapse of about 70% for 2 years … and revenues collapse with.

What to do…?

Bitcoin continues to occupy the team here in Lausanne …

We have just spoken with one of the experts, in France, on the bitcoin … the economist Philippe Herlin …

We recorded my interview with him on video … and we reveal it today to our readers.

You will see the comments of Philippe Herlin on the potential of crypto-currencies at the moment … including how to get more information and advice on the subject.

In particular, you will see why Dr. Herlin focuses much on India and Japan today.

-Read more at www.lettre-strategie-conseil.com (French)-

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