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April 22, 2019

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‘Earth’ fuels growth of sci-fi goods

The rise of domestic Chinese sci-fi has brought about a boom in related merchandise.

When Chinese sci-fi blockbuster “The Wandering Earth” took the second spot in China’s all-time box office, sales of promotional products also soared.

Sources at China Film Co Ltd, producer of the film, say that it authorized dozens of companies to create merchandise in an unprecedented move.

“The manufacturing industry of IP merchandise products is mature in China. What domestic enterprises are short of is creative ideas and designs,” said Gu Yi, a merchandise development director of a subsidiary brand under entertainment service Bilibili, one of the film merchandise developers.

With a growing creative industry in China, Gu believes more good products will come out, bringing better sales.

According to Gu, a fund-raising project initiated by the company for “The Wandering Earth” product development has collected over 5 million yuan (US$745,000) from the public, far beyond their expectation.

Products linked to sci-fi books have also seen strong sales.

Fans of “The Three-Body Problem” have pooled over 2.3 million yuan to sponsor an illustrated album based on the book, making it a must to print extra copies.

Compared with box office earnings, development of IP merchandise can generate profits in a much longer term, according to Chen Wei, founder of Chinese merchandise brand 52TOYS.


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