In China, this science fiction film eclipses Avatar 2
It was one of the most anticipated movies of 2022. After more than seven weeks in theaters, Avatar: The Way of the Water continues to seduce young and old. But in China, a shadow hangs over the success of James Cameron’s new film and it’s titled The Wandering Earth 2.
If the sequel to the adventures of the Na’vi was eagerly awaited, that of The Wandering Earth seems to have been equally so in China. Indeed, the sequel to this science fiction film brought in nearly 70 million dollars in just 24 hours at the Chinese box office.
In three days of operation, Chinese revenues amounted to 181 million dollars. In comparison, Avatar 2 collected “only” 65.47 million dollars at the Chinese box office over this same duration. Note that it took a month in theaters for the feature film to raise $235 million thanks to Chinese viewers. At this rate, The Wandering Earth 2 could totally eclipse Avatar: The Way of the Water.
The Wandering Earth 2, better than Avatar 2?
Released in 2019, The Wandering Earth won at the Chinese box office in its first week of release. The success is such that it is the second highest-grossing film in China. It collected 630 million euros in revenue… 620 million having been made in the country of origin of the feature film. Netflix feels the good vein and manages to recover the rights to broadcast this nugget internationally from April 30, 2019.
This sci-fi film takes us on the trail of a group of astronauts tasked with finding a new planet to live on as the sun dies and a collision with Jupiter threatens humanity.
Almost three years later, the film offers a sequel. We are still in a post-apocalyptic world as our heroes attempt to propel Earth into a new solar system for humanity to survive.
Like the first part, The Wandering Earth 2 take advantage of the Lunar New Year for its release. During this week, foreign films are banned from Chinese cinemas. This allows domestic feature films to shine. Which could, thus, explain part of its resounding success. But that’s not all.
According to Yu Dong, CEO of the giant Bona Film, Chinese moviegoers are tired of American blockbusters. In December, a month before the release of The Wandering Earth 2Yu Dong predicted the success of the Chinese film against Avatar: The Way of the Water. And he was not wrong. Faced with the frenzy of other countries, James Cameron’s latest film does not create the event in Chinese cinemas. Which allows this other 3-hour sci-fi film to steal the show.
It remains to be seen whether the success of The Wandering Earth 2 will be global or not. For the moment, difficult to know if the film will offer an exit in the dark rooms of the whole world. Perhaps, like its predecessor, international viewers will have to wait for a direct-to-Netflix stream.