Hot on the heels of its box office success, merchandise sales for China’s homemade sci-fi blockbuster “The Wandering Earth 2” have raked in over 100 million yuan since its release, marking a milestone in intellectual property development.
On Taobao, China’s biggest retailing platform, a Bluetooth-controlled replica robot dog priced at 899 yuan has been sold over 6,000 times, while over 20,000 customers have ordered replica models of the all-purpose robot and MOSS, the AI robot from the movie.
Such has been the demand for official merchandise that Scifispace, the official licensor of the movie and the designer of sets for “The Wandering Earth,” announced Sunday it had shut down a crowdfunding project after far surpassing its intended target.
A screenshot from the crowdfunding project website selling official merchandise. From Taobao
In just seven days since the project was launched, to produce models, pins, and other related character products from the movie, the company collected nearly 122 million yuan from 535,359 orders made by enthusiastic fans across the nation — almost 1,220 times more than the intended target.
“Due to the capacity of the factory this year, and to maximize the quality of the products and delivery cycle, we decided to stop the crowdfunding after all products sold out,”
said Scifispace on Weibo.
The crowdfunding project started on Jan. 22, the same day “The Wandering Earth 2” was released. Over the last week, the movie topped trending lists on most social media platforms, including microblogging platform Weibo, short video app Douyin, and video-sharing app Kuaishou during the seven-day long Spring Festival holiday.
On its first day, the sci-fi movie broke records as it amassed almost 440 million yuan in a single day. Now, its total box office collections stand at around 2.6 billion yuan.
And with its merchandise selling equally well, the rapidly increasing demand for related products has brought investors much confidence in domestic IP development, signaling the arrival of a long-awaited trend in China.
In 2021, China’s box office earned 47 billion yuan, accounting for about 35% of the worldwide market. However, the authorized derivative industry is still in its infancy. Despite being the world’s second-largest consumer market, China’s authorized goods market share is less than 4% of the global total.
In a 2022 report on China’s brand licensing industry, China Commerce Networks showed that 33.1% of popular merchandise in 2021 in China were from China, while 30.2% of the products were from the U.S.
In the past few years, Scifispace has witnessed the development of domestic merchandise after successfully producing products based on the TV series “The Three-Body Problem” and the movie “The Captain,” as well as from China’s exploration projects on Mars, the moon, and other planets. But none have seen such enthusiasm from audiences as “The Wandering Earth 2.”
“Will we get a Wandering Earth theme park?” is one of the most asked questions on Weibo.
Sun Yue, the founder of Scifispace, said on Weibo earlier in January: “We hope that we can grow together with the IP of “The Wandering Earth” through long-time cooperation. We also hope to bring our customers more products to enjoy in the future.”
(Header image: A replica of the all-purpose robot from The Wandering Earth 2. From Taobao)