Daily Drip

China’s Smash Hit Sci-fi Film “The Wandering Earth” is Coming to Netflix this Month


If you weren’t able to catch groundbreaking Chinese sci-fi flick The Wandering Earth in the cinema earlier this year, or if you just want to watch the space-set action adventure again, you’ll soon be able to see it via Netflix.

The streaming service has announced that the movie will be available from April 30Update: Despite originally displaying a release date of April 30, it seems that’s now been pushed back to May 6 for some markets, including the US.

Based on a novel by Liu Cixin, Frant Gwo’s blockbuster dominated the Chinese New Year box office and gained a limited run in US cinemas in February. 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 also sparked a lot of talk about a new era for Chinese science fiction, though as Xueting Christine Ni noted for RADII, the country has a long-running sci-fi film tradition.


“The Wandering Earth”: Propaganda, Ratings Wars, and the Future of Chinese Sci-Fi

Netflix snapped the movie up shortly after its release in China. Here’s what we said about it at the time:

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.

Here’s The Wandering Earth‘s trailer, a version of which is also now showing over on the Netflix site:

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for more Chinese content on Netflix, you might want to check out our guide to the Chinese fox spirit in Love, Death + Robots, dive into a mouthwatering food documentary from Tencent (which may make for a good accompaniment to Street Food), or binge a bunch of Chinese movies:

5 Chinese Films to Binge on Netflix This Winter Break

Jake Newby
Jake Newby is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with more than a decade's experience living and working in China. Previously managing editor of RADII and Time Out Shanghai, he's also written for the Associated Press, The Wire, the Financial Times and more.
china.wav LA

This is one list you want to be on

Thousands of earthlings have signed up for our newsletter, and you should do the same

You have Successfully Subscribed!