Netflix Signs Up Chinese Sci-Fi Blockbuster ‘Wandering Earth’

(Bloomberg) -- "The Wandering Earth," China’s second-highest grossing film, will play on Netflix Inc.’s streaming service, building on the sci-fi movie’s success.

  • Netflix, which didn’t specify financial details or when it will be shown on its service, said the company will translate the film into 28 languages as the movie is likely to resonate with viewers outside of China. Excluding booking fees, the film’s generated about 3.8 billion yuan ($566 million) at the Chinese box office since its debut earlier this month, according to data compiled by ticketing company Maoyan.

Key Insights

  • Though China has churned out blockbusters before, box-office success has often been limited to the local market as film-makers there have struggled to make movies that are popular with a global audiences. "Wandering Earth," which tells the tale of an apocalyptic future where humans are trying to save Earth by propelling it out of the solar system, could test whether Chinese producers are closer to figuring that out.
  • Still, Chinese producers are making progress. Case in point: "The Meg," which became the highest-grossing shark thriller since "Jaws" in 1975 after it became a hit in both China and the U.S.
  • Though Netflix doesn’t sell its service in China, the company has acquired projects designed to appeal to Chinese people living elsewhere. It’s also working on its first Chinese-language original series.

Get More

  • Chart on movie’s performance
  • Shares linked to "Wandering Earth"
  • News on the author

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