The World's Most Successful Film of 2019 is Chinese, and Netflix Just Bought it

By Matthew Bossons, February 22, 2019

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Netflix has scooped up one of the most successful Chinese movies of all time, the recently-released The Wandering Earth, for an undisclosed amount, according to Boy Genius Report (BGR). The film has been an unmitigated success in the Middle Kingdom, having surpassed over half a billion dollars before finishing its second week in Chinese cinemas. The film is presently the second-highest grossing film of all time in China, and, while we’re only two months into 2019, it’s the world’s highest-grossing movie of the year so far.

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Image via IMDB

The Wandering Earth is set in the distant future and tells the story of humanity’s efforts to move the Earth away from our dying Sun, which is transforming into a red giant. The sci-fi film is based on the novella of the same name, which was written by award-winning Chinese author Liu Cixin, and has been hailed by Rogerebert.com’s Simon Abrams as “a great and uniquely Chinese science fiction film” that brilliantly blends Liu’s source material with American disaster films, such as Armageddon.

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Image via IMDB

It’s currently unknown how much Netflix paid for the rights to stream the film and when it will appear on their platform, but one thing we do know: the media giant will translate the movie into 28 languages.

“Audiences from over 190 countries will soon meet The Wandering Earth on Netflix,” said the film’s director, Frant Gwo, according to BGR. “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.”

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Image via IMDB

While Netflix is not available on the Chinese mainland (not without a VPN, anyway), purchasing one of the most successful Chinese films of all time is a major power move as the company looks to connect with Chinese audiences around the world. Back in 2017, Netflix gave the go-ahead for its first Chinese-language original series, which is expected to debut sometime this year.

[Cover image via IMDB]

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