Chinese sci-fi blockbuster "The Wandering Earth" raked in about 1.4 billion yuan (about 208.7 million U.S. dollars) in box office sales over its first five days on the big screen as of 2:00 p.m. Saturday, according to Maoyan, a professional box office tracker.
The film, one of the biggest winners in the Spring Festival film market, also received favorable reviews from audience and critics.
In the film, mankind is threatened by a dying and swelling sun, and giant thrusters were built to propel the planet out of the solar system on a 2,500-year journey in search of a new sun. It focuses on a Chinese astronaut and his emotionally estranged son as they join a global mission to prevent Earth from crashing into Jupiter.
Considered a milestone in the development of Chinese sci-fi film, "The Wandering Earth," adapted from the work of Hugo Award Winner Liu Cixin, earned the heart of many science fiction fans like Zhou Yingsen from southern China's Guangdong Province.
"The film owes its success to an outstanding plot and professional production process," said Zhou, who is confident about the future of Chinese sci-fi films after viewing the movie.
The success of "The Wandering Earth" indicates that China's sci-fi is to evolve from solely literature to complex creative forms including film production, said Wu Yan, a professor with the Southern University of Science and Technology.
Wu attributed the progress to four factors: high-quality works, an expanding market, steady financial input and growing sci-fi fandom.
Apart from the fascinating story and eye-catching special effects, the film's interpretation of traditional values about family, heroism and patriotism also resonated with the audience.
"I was strongly inspired by the three fathers in the film, all of whom made sacrifices for the greater good and showed true devotion for their families," said Fan Xinggang, a father of a three-month-old from Xi'an, capital city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
Likewise, taking the earth on an interstellar journey is the ultimate manifestation of a connection between the people and the land, which roots deep in Chinese culture, said Guo Fan, director of the film, adding that Chinese sci-fi works will always take inspiration from China's rich traditional culture.
Liu Cixin, author of the original fiction and executive producer of the film, praised the film as the "beginning of a new journey" for the Chinese sci-fi film industry.