During its first week of release, Avengers: Infinity War made $338 million at the domestic box office. That’s the second highest seven-day total of all-time, behind only The Force Awakens ($390 million) but ahead of The Last Jedi and Jurassic World ($296 million) and Black Panther ($291 million). So, for a movie to make over $300 million in a week, in a single territory (not the worldwide gross), it has to be a monster hit. China has one of those right now.
Wandering Earth is probably an unfamiliar title to western audiences, but the film, dubbed “China’s first full-scale interstellar spectacular,” made $349 million across its first seven days of release. Just in China (where it competed against SEVEN new films)! That’s an even bigger haul than Infinity War (and The Dark Knight, and The Avengers, and Harry Potter, and…) in the United States:
If Wandering Earth, which is a $50 million-budgeted sci-fi drama concerning Earth having to build rocket thrusters to essentially launch itself out of the solar system after the Sun expands and threatens to scorch the planet (it makes sense in the movie, honest), is as leggy as Detective Chinatown 2 [which made $541 million last year] from here on out (1.6x its seven-day gross), it’ll end its run with a still-dynamite $558 million Chinese total. At a glance, I’d argue that would be a bigger single-territory total than anything this year aside from the next Avengers and the next Star Wars.
The Wandering Earth is based on a short story from Hugo Award-winning author Liu Cixin, who crediited the film’s success to China “experiencing rapid modernization, which allows fertile soil for scientific literature and films to grow.”
Well, that, and people just really like space movies.