One of the biggest movies in the world is currently available to stream on Netflix, but chances are likely most subscribers have no idea about it. “The Wandering Earth,” Frant Gwo’s science-fiction blockbuster about humanity’s attempts to prevent the the sun from destroying the earth, opened in China earlier this year to “Avengers: Endgame” numbers at the box office. The movie is currently China’s second highest-grossing release in history and with $700 million at the worldwide box office it’s the third biggest global release of 2019 behind only Marvel Studios and Disney’s “Endgame” and “Captain Marvel.”
Despite that huge box office haul, “The Wandering Earth” landed on Netflix without any fanfare and barely any marketing. Netflix Asia debuted an official trailer for the blockbuster on April 29, which was just a day before the film’s April 30 launch on the company’s regional service. The trailer was never even uploaded to Netflix’s official U.S. YouTube page, nor was “The Wandering Earth” mentioned on Netflix’s official press releases naming its new film additions for April and May.
With its $700 million box office haul, “The Wandering Earth” is the second highest-grossing non-English film of all time and one of the biggest science-fiction films of all time. One would think a global blockbuster of this size would be a bigger deal (just look at the fanfare that came with “Avengers: Infinity War” landing on Netflix last Christmas), but Netflix hasn’t capitalized on the film’s success to make it a must-see for U.S. audiences. With no awareness, barely any U.S. Netflix subscribers realize one of the biggest global hits of 2019 is available to stream right now.
Netflix’s official synopsis for “The Wandering Earth” reads: “The film is the story of a distant future in which the sun is about to expand into a red giant and devour the Earth, prompting mankind to make an audacious attempt to save the planet. The multi-generational heroes build ten-thousand stellar engines in an effort to propel Planet Earth out of the solar system, in the hope of finding a new celestial home. During the 2,500 year-long journey, a group of daring heroes emerge to defend human civilization from unexpected dangers and new enemies, and to ensure the survival of humanity in this age of the wandering Earth.”
“The Wandering Earth” stars Qu Chuxiao, Li Guangjie, Ng Man-tat, Zhao Jinmai, and Wu Jing.