CBN Friday Special丨From “Wandering Earth” to “Moon Man”: Sci-fi ignites national space craze

2022年08月19日 20:52   21世纪经济报道 21财经APP   李莹亮,实习生曾丽镔
感受中国泛经济脉搏,畅谈最新最有趣的商业话题。

S: Hi. Welcome to CBN Friday Special. I am Stephanie Li.

J: Hi, I am Jenny. Hey Stephanie, have you watched the new sci-fi movie that everyone is talking about? 

S: You mean Moon Man? I think it’s a nice, heartwarming sci-fi comedy, which is produced by the hit-making comedy troop Mahua FunAge. Moon Man tells a story about a Chinese astronaut on the Moon who comes to believe he’s the last human in the universe after witnessing an asteroid collides with the Earth. But in reality, many survivors on the Earth, including his dream girl (Ma Li), are watching his every move via a live-stream. As another Chinese sci-fi movie, the fictional plot and the scenes were so attractive that the movie has spectacularly revived China’s box office. As of August 14, its box office has hit 24 billion, leading the 2022 summer box office.

J: The popularity is fuelled by the rise and development of China’s aerospace industry which keeps stimulating people’s growing yearning for exploring the mystic universe and the vastness of the starry sky. In recent years, the great success of China’s aerospace industry, such as the launching of manned spaceships, the Chang’e lunar exploration project, Zhu Rong Mars exploration, and the recent launch of the Wentian module set off a national space craze. 

S: Since the 1990s, the sci-fi craze has gradually sprung up in Chinese literary circles, and Chinese sci-fi writers represented by Liu Cixin have come to the fore. Liu, the first Chinese winner to win the Hugo Award by The Three-Body Problem in 2015, first published two works Whale Song and Micro end in Sci-fi World in 1999, and published the short story Earth Fire and Wandering Earth in 2000, in which The Wandering Earth won the special prize in China Sci-fi Galaxy Award. 

In 2019, The Wandering Earth was adapted and put on the big screen, which instantly became a national sensation as China's first space-based sci-fi blockbuster. The Wandering Earth stood out among the 2019 Lunar New Year's films, winning both the box office and reputation and regarded by industry insiders as a milestone in the development of China's sci-fi industry. In recent years, China has demonstrated its aerospace ambitions and pursued the United States in space exploration. However, sci-fi films have long been a blank in the Chinese film industry. But The Wandering Earth opened the dawning of a new era in domestic sci-fi films, breaking the monopoly by Hollywood, as Chinese filmmakers leap into sci-fi with growing budgets and confidence to tackle the genre.

J: When The Wandering Earth finally grossed as much as 4.6 billion yuan at the box office, the year of 2019 has been marked as the very first year of Chinese sci-fi movies. In 2019, Chinese sci-fi films earned more than 7.1 billion yuan ($1.09 billion) in the Chinese mainland.

In 2022, domestic sci-fi films ushered in a golden explosion. Three domestic sci-fi films, Mozart in Outer Space, Moon Man, and War of Tomorrow have been released one after another. The three films are expected to enhance the industry’s confidence in sci-fi films, but also have important inspiration for the future creation of the genre. They also represent an epoch-making cultural phenomenon. The charm of sci-fi lies in jumping out of the usual triviality, looking up at the stars, and using a broader perspective to see the position and existence of human beings in the universe.

S: Apart from the entertainment industry, space-themed tourism has also been brought to the public and started to gain more tractions in recent years. Take the satellite-launch-site Wenchang for example. The small and historic city in China’s southernmost island province is previously famous for a very popular chicken dish in China, which is believed to be originated during the Ming Dynasty and inspired the “Hainanese Chicken Rice” in Singapore and Malaysia. 

But now Wenchang has re-invented itself into a "space city". The southern Chinese city of Wenchang was picked as a satellite launch site due to the region's low latitude. Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site is the fourth one of the country's launch sites and the only one by the seaside. 

J: Each time a rocket is set to be launched, tourists flock to the town. Regarded as one of the best open view sites, the beach of Qishui Bay in Longlou, a coastal town of Wenchang City, attracted tens of thousands of tourists from all over the country.  

The small town stepped into the spotlight again as China successfully launched its Wentian Module last month. More than 40 hotels and guesthouses across the town were fully booked before the launch. In hotels, customers can have the best view of rocket launches and prices could double during launch periods. The rocket launch has greatly promoted the small town's tourism, making the entire hospitality industry and restaurants into tourist hot spots.

S: Space fans in the country are so fascinated by the vastness of the universe that they wish they could travel with spaceships after seeing the launch. In 2021, the Shanghai Planetarium opened its doors to the public, giving space enthusiasts a chance to quench their thirst. Covering 38,000 square meters, it's believed to be the largest of its kind in the world. The museum has three thematic exhibition areas “Home”, “Universe” and “Journey”, as well as the special exhibition areas of “China asks the sky”, “Curiosity planet” and“Heading to Mars”. 

There is a precise model of China's Tianhe core module. Three taikonauts are now working on the Tianhe core module in space, but visitors can come and take a closer look at how the taikonauts eat, sleep, grow plants and do all kinds of experiments in space. And visitor can even put VR goggles to roam on the Moon. Over the past year, the Shanghai Planetarium has received a total of 730,000 visitors, becoming an “internet celebrity” science museum in Shanghai, widely loved by the public. 

J: Wow, that sounds amazing! As the saying goes, "our journey is to be the sea of stars." With space-themed tourism becoming a new name card, Wenchang and other cities with space resources can further optimize infrastructure and supporting services to help create new impetus for local economic growth. The development of the space-themed tourism also needs to further highlight cultural connotations to incorporate itself with Chinese elements and traditional Chinese virtues, just like the success of The Wandering Earth

China used to be a latecomer to space exploration, but it’s about to change. The remarkable space achievements in recent year have boosted huge economic potential in space-themed cultural and tourism industry, and made more and more Chinese people ever-prouder to call ourselves space-lovers. And that’s all for today. See you next time. 

航天文旅方兴未艾,追星逐海,征途漫漫。

7月29日,中国科幻喜剧《独行月球》全国上映。电影中,人类的“月盾计划”失败,小行星π即将毁灭地球,被遗忘在月球的主人公独孤月,改变了重返地球的计划,独自扛着“宇宙之锤”炸毁小行星。电影采用了先进的科幻技术,月球场面震撼真实,宇宙浪漫尽收眼底,让人身临其境。截至8月14日,《独行月球》以超24亿元的票房强势领跑,成为今年暑期档最大赢家。

《独行月球》大热的背后,我们看到的是中国航天航空业的崛起,是人们对宇宙的神秘、星空浩瀚愈发向往。近几年,我国载人航天飞船、嫦娥探月工程、祝融号火星探测、问天实验舱成功升空等航天事业的巨大成功,掀起了全民“航天热”。中国人的“航天梦”的崛起,带动了相关特色文旅产业的发展。

从上世纪90年代开始,中国文学界逐渐兴起科幻热,以刘慈欣为代表的中国科幻作家们展露头角。1999年6月,刘慈欣在《科幻世界》首次发表两篇作品《鲸歌》和《微观尽头》, 2000年发表短篇小说《地火》《流浪地球》,凭借《流浪地球》获得中国科幻银河奖特等奖。 2019年,根据中国科幻小说改编的电影流浪地球、上海堡垒等陆续上映。流浪地球最终斩获高达46亿票房的同时,被视为是中国科幻元年的领航之作。继《流浪地球》之后,2022年,电影行业的国产科幻片迎来了黄金爆发期。《外太空的莫扎特》《独行月球》《明日战记》三部国产科幻电影先后上映,尤其是《独行月球》成为现象级作品。三部影片有望增强业内对科幻片的信心,也对未来的科幻片创作有重要启发。

除此之外,航天旅游业也成为新的热门旅游方式,逐渐密集的卫星发射带火了“追星”游。海南文昌是中国卫星发射地之一,发射期间,文昌酒店经常爆满。其中,文昌希尔顿酒店地处黄金观测地,临海而立的太空科技感,远远观望便能使探索宇宙的热血瞬间喷张,在发射期间平均接待游客800余人。

太空迷们对浩瀚宇宙如此向往,恨不能随着太空飞船遨游天际。2021年,上海天文馆7月18日正式对公众开放,让太空迷们得以“望梅止渴”。上海天文馆展馆占地面积约5.86万平方,其建筑规模属全球最大。该馆涵盖“家园”“宇宙”“征程”三大主题展区及“中华问天”“好奇星球”“航向火星”等特色展区,以及8K超高清多功能球幕影院等,全景展现宇宙浩瀚图景。一年来,上海天文馆共接待参观者73万人次,成为上海的“网红”科普场馆,受到市民们的广泛喜爱。

“我们的征途是星辰大海。”随着航天游成为旅游发展新名片,文昌等具有航天资源的城市可以通过发展旅游业进一步优化产业结构,细化配套服务,完善基础设施,推进旅游业转型升级,为当地经济增长创造新动力。然而,航天文旅作为新业态,目前正处于起步状态,尚未形成成熟的产品体系和发展模式。下一步,航天特色旅游产业的发展还需要进一步突出科技和文化内涵,加强航天企业和旅游企业之间交流合作,探索互惠互利的合作模式和发展模式。

Executive Editor: Sonia YU

Editor: LI Yanxia

Host: Stephanie LI

Writer: Stephanie LI, ZENG Libin

Sound Editor: ZENG Libin

Graphic Designer: ZHENG Wenjing, LIAO Yuanni

Produced by 21st Century Business Herald Dept. of Overseas News.

Presented by SFC

编委:  于晓娜

策划、编辑:李艳霞 

播音:李莹亮

撰稿:李莹亮、曾丽镔

音频制作:曾丽镔

设计:郑文静、廖苑妮

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