With Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel set to release soon, lots of money will be spent at North American movie theaters. However, the biggest box office hit of 2019 isn’t a Hollywood blockbuster or a franchise comic adaptation. It’s The Wandering Earth, a Chinese science fiction film about a global effort to thrust planet Earth from its orbit and into a new star system.
Produced for $50 million, The Wandering Earth released on February 5 and has quickly become a cinematic phenomenon. In China, the film has already become the country’s second highest-grossing movie of all time, not far behind the 2017 action sequel Wolf Warrior 2 (which also features Wu Jing in a starring role). The Wandering Earth is directed by 38-year-old Chinese filmmaker Frant Gwo, whose previous film was the 2014 coming-of-age drama My Old Classmate.