China’s science fiction film “The Wandering Earth” made an unexpected hit in the box office when it came out on the firs trading day of the Lunar New Year, making it the highest-grossing movie during the holiday.
The film, which has a scale rivaling even Hollywood’s high-grossing space movies like “Interstellar,” made a whopping 2 billion yuan ($296 million) in the box office when it first came out on February 5, according to South China Morning Post.
Beijing Jingxi Culture and Tourism Co and State-owned China Film Group both saw a significant increase in their shares after the success of “The Wandering Earth.” As said in the report, the former, which also co-produced China’s other highest-grossing film “Wolf Warrior 2,” had a surge of 10% daily limit in Shenzen to 14.51 yuan on Monday.
The latter one jumped “by as much as 7.8 per cent before paring the gains to close 2.7 per cent higher,” the report noted.
“The Wandering Earth,” based on the novel of Chinese sci-fi author Liu Cixin, follows the story of humanity’s effort to save Earth from the looming destruction of the sun by propelling it out of the solar system using giant engines to escape certain obliteration.
“The market did not expect its box office performance to be so spectacular, because domestic sci-fi films were not very popular in the past,” equity analyst specialising in media and entertainment at Guosen Securities, Zhang Heng, said in a statement.
It is still unclear, though, how much budget the movie has, but some Chinese media have suggested that it could possibly be over 500 million yuan ($73,646).
With this success, “The Wandering Earth” is being expected to rake in even more cash as it continues to screen in cinemas. Maoyan projected the film to make 5.1 billion yuan ($751.1 million). If it does reach that record, the movie will officially become the second highest-grossing film in China’s history.
Investors are now looking into more films such as “The Wandering Earth” from the company.
“The company has plenty of sci-fi and fantasy films in the pipeline, and it’s likely to harvest good results from those investments,” Zhang added.
Apart from the two companies, actor Wu Jing, who also played a Chinese astronaut in the movie and its director, Frant Gwo, also invested in “The Wandering Earth.”
Images screenshot via YouTube / Gavin Feng