Although Crazy Alien topped the one-day box office charts on the first day of the Year of the Pig, another Liu Cixin sci-fi flick looks set to conquer the Spring Festival box office overall. The Wandering Earth has risen to the top spot after rave reviews and scores of analytical articles during the Chinese New Year period. And if you’re in select cities in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and want to see what all the fuss is about, you’re in luck.
Mixing elements of Armageddon and 2001: A Space Odyssey (though hewing much closer to the former), the film is China’s first notable sci-fi blockbuster, based on a story by Liu (the same author behind The Three Body Problem). There are a few plot-holes, some disappointingly one-dimensional female characters, and some overly soppy moments about “going home” (a common theme at this time of year in China), but as holiday blockbusters go it’s pretty good, and worth seeing on the big screen.
IMDb is currently rating it 8.0 out of 10, while Chinese user review site Douban has it at 7.9 out of 10. (Douban’s scoring for the film has been the source of some controversy however in recent days after there were allegations that high-scoring reviews had been changed to lower ones in return for money — Douban has refuted the claims and reasserted its independence when it comes to such matters.)
The Wandering Earth took a record box office haul of 349 million USD in its first week — the biggest one-week total ever for a Chinese movie. It could have potentially been even bigger, but the film was one of a number of Chinese New Year blockbuster releases that was quickly pirated and streamed online in the country, prompting investigations by the authorities.
According to an image released by CMC Pictures, a distributor focused on getting Chinese movies into international cinemas, The Wandering Earth will be showing in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas, Miami, Chicago, Washington DC and more in the US, often on IMAX screens. It’s also available for viewing in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, though it’s unclear exactly how long the cinema run will be for the film. The image suggests that more locations could be added too.
Here’s where to watch the film in those countries, though we recommend you double check with the cinemas before making a trip:
For screenings in the US, you can buy tickets for The Wandering Earth via Atom Tickets.
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