The highest grossing movie in 2019 isn’t Glass, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World or The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. The highest grossest movie of the year thus far is The Wandering Earth and it isn’t even close. Haven’t heard of it? Don’t worry, that might be because it is a Chinese sci-fi movie that hasn’t been released in the U.S. yet. But it will be soon thanks to Netflix.
The Wandering Earth is based on a short story by author Liu Cixin, who won a Hugo Award. The plot is set in the future when the sun is expanding into a red giant and threatens to destroy all life on Earth. Faced with certain extinction, a set of heroes build ten thousand stellar engines to propel our planet away from our star that is quickly overheating Earth.
Over the course of 2,500 years, the planet becomes our spaceship as we leave our solar system to find a new star, hence “wandering Earth.” Eventually, Earth enters the Alpha Centauri system, but the journey kills millions of people because of things like catastrophic tides, earthquakes, and freezing temperatures that force humans to live in underground cities in order to preserve human civilization.
The Wandering Earth features Chinese action star Wu Jing, who appeared in the country’s highest-grossing movie of all-time Wolf Warrior 2. Jing is not only an actor, but also a director and martial artist who has been named “China’s Rambo.”
The blockbuster movie has made over $600 million at Chinese theaters since it was released on February 5th. The Wandering Earth is already the second-highest grossing film in China ever after only a few weeks. This immediate success prompted Netflix to acquire the film and share The Wandering Earth with the rest of the world. The release date on Netflix has not been given yet, but they did say that the movie will be translated into 28 languages.
“Audiences from over 190 countries will soon meet The Wandering Earth on Netflix,” the film’s director Frant Gwo said. “I am glad that our movie can reach to people from different parts of the world. This is a Chinese movie created for the world, and it has been positively received since its premiere. We are very excited about it.” Netflix is out here doing big things.