Netflix has landed the international distribution rights to China’s current monster hit ‘The Wandering Earth’, which, having earned over $600 million in 16 days, sits as the nation’s #2 highest-grossing movie ever, and at the rate it’s going, will likely take the top spot by the end of its theatrical run. In addition to the global SVOD rights, Netflix also reportedly picked up the 2nd run rights for North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Korea, meaning that while another distributor may open ‘The Wandering Earth’ in theaters, anything after that, including home video, will belong to Netflix. In fact, ‘The Wandering Earth’ has had a limited release in North America and has earned $4 million so far.
Netflix’s Manager of Content Acquisition, Jerry Zhang stated:
“[Netflix is] committed to providing entertainment lovers with access to a wide variety of global content. With its high-quality production and story-telling, we believe that The Wandering Earth will be loved by sci-fi fans around the world.”
For the record, Netflix does not operate in mainland China.
‘The Wandering Earth’ is considered the first Hollywood-style big-budget sci-fi epic from China. It is based on a short story by Liu Cixin who won a Hugo Award for his previous story ‘The Three-Body Problem’. ‘The Wandering Earth’ follows a plan to move the citizens of Earth to other planets, after the sun starts to destruct and threatens to take the entire solar system with it. The film features Wu Jing, the star of the country’s #1 highest-grossing movie, ‘Wolf Warrior 2’, which earned $854 million at the box office. ‘The Wandering Earth’ is the highest-grossing IMAX movie ever in China, having surpassed ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.
The film was directed and written by Frant Gwo, and stars Qu Chuxiao, Li Guangjie, Ng Man-tat and Zhao Jinmai. The budget is reported to be a modest by American standards $50 million, and the post-production and special effects took two years! Reportedly, 7,000 people worked on the film.
“This is a movie created for the Chinese audience around the world, and it has been positively received since its premiere, we are very excited about it. To my surprise, this movie also resonates outside Mainland China. Netflix will translate it into 28 languages, enabling more viewers to enjoy it regardless of geographical and linguistic differences.”
Are you intrigued to check out this Chinese phenomenon?