China challenges Hollywood with sci-fi blockbuster ‘Wandering Earth’
China’s first ever blockbuster sci-fi film, Wandering Earth, has become one of the highest-grossing films in China’s history as they take on Hollywood.
The film, directed by Frant Gwo, is based on the novella of the same name by Locus Award and Hugo Award-winning author Liu Cixin. The film was theatrically released on 5 February 2019 to coincide with the Chinese New Year’s Day and scooped more than 2bn yuan (£232m) in the six days that followed.
“2019 could be remembered as year zero of Chinese science-fiction blockbusters,” director Gwo said. “It is not just about one successful movie but about the emergence of multiple films.”
“My film was successful but I don’t want to speak about only one successful film and China’s sci-fi movies could be find a new way for being better in 2019,” Gwo added. “Chinese studios have no interest to invest in sci-fi films. US sci-fi film audiences have trust but this trust between audiences and China’s sci-fi movies doesn’t exist yet and this is the main difference between Chinese and US sci-fi films.”
He added: “It is a challenge because this trust must build between producers, investors, and the audience until people have faith in a Chinese sci-fi movie.”[
Wandering Earth is already China’s second highest-grossing film of all time having grossed over $683 million worldwide, including $677 million in China.
“When the sun dies out, the people of Earth build giant thrusters to move the planet out of orbit and sail to a new star system,” the film’s synopsis reads. “After 2,500 years, young people continue the fight for everyone’s survival.”