It likely won’t be as under-the-radar among American audiences for much longer, however. Thanks to Netflix’s acquisition of the rights to the film back in February and its debut on the streamer with pretty much no fanfare in recent days, that means the biggest non-Marvel movie released in 2019 thus far is now available to stream in the US.
One of the top-grossing movies in the world right now is a sci-fi blockbuster that’s racked up an impressive global box office haul on par with some of Marvel’s big 2019 hits, like Captain Marvel.
The movie is China’s second-highest grossing film of all time and tells the story of people trying to save earth from being destroyed by the sun. Netflix — which has been trying to appeal more to Chinese audiences — quickly snatched it up, promising to translate it into 28 languages. Again, an impressive achievement for a non-Hollywood production, for that and many other reasons.
As we’ve previously reported, the film was given a production scale rarely seen in Chinese films and included post-production and special effects work that took two years. All of that included more than 10,000 specifically-built props and the employment of some 2,000 special effects shots, in addition to a “substantial amount of computer graphics shots.”
Samir Ansari, a visual effects supervisor with VFX company Pixomondo, said he and his colleagues put a significant amount of work into the movie, working on more than 200 shots and creating over 180 different assets that were used in the film in some capacity. It’s a movie about the potential destruction of the earth, so it involves elaborate sets of massive scale to give the movie a sweep and epic look and feel along the lines of sci-fi hits that American audiences are definitely used to seeing.
An achievement that’s seriously impressive when you stop to consider that this Chinese-made film in question, Wandering Earth, hasn’t really been available to US audiences at all up to this point, other than via very quick, limited screening. And yet, it’s currently the third highest-grossing film worldwide, even with the insane response to Avengers: Endgame.