China Focus: Chinese sci-fi rise brings surprise to merchandising industry

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-21 09:46:49|Editor: ZX
Video PlayerClose

BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- The rise of domestic Chinese sci-fi has brought about a boom in related merchandise.

When Chinese sci-fi blockbuster "The Wandering Earth" took second place 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 there will be more good products coming out, bringing better sales.

According to Gu, a fundraising project initiated by the company for "The Wandering Earth" product development has collected over 5 million yuan (745,000 U.S. dollars) from the public, far beyond their expectation.

Products related 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.

However, industry insiders say the industry in China is still not fully developed.

They say that promotional products need to be developed at a much earlier stage, before the films release, or it is too late to grab public attention.