Copies can be bought online for as little as 1 yuan

Chinese sci-fi film The Wandering Earth has been battling piracy after earning $440 million in 10 days at China’s box office.

Reuters reports that The Wandering Earth – a Chinese space epic – drew in $440 million in ticket sales in just under 10 days.

The Wandering Earth is based on Chinese science fiction author Liu Cixin’s novel 2000 of the same name. As the sun dies out, Chinese scientists build thrusters to move the sun out of orbit and into a new star system. The film centres around people’s survival 2500 years later.

“It’s a genre that most Chinese people have never seen, and it really touched people,” said Wu Jian, a Beijing-based film analyst with Alibaba Pictures.

Sales reached $440 million in 9 days and 16 hours, breaking Wolf Warrior 2’s record of 10 days and 15 hours. The Wandering Earth is expected dethrone Wolf Warrior 2’s position as China’s highest-grossing movie, which pulled in 5.7 billion yuan in box office sales last year.

Pirate copies of the film have flooded China’s internet according to SCMP. Copies of the film can be bought online for as little as 1 yuan (15 cents in USD). The National Copyright Administration has since told internet users to report pirate copies to “protect good domestic films”.

“After several days of joint action by multiple departments and the copyrights’ owners, the spread of pirated copies of Spring Festival movies has been curbed to some extent,” said the administration.

Gong Ge’er of The Wandering Earth‘s anti-piracy team said piracy has damaged the film’s success. “In recent days, the staff of The Wandering Earth have not had time to celebrate the box office success, but have devoted almost all their energy to complaining to authorities about piracy and blocking pirated copies,” Gong said.