Like most places in the world, Russia's silver screens are dominated by Hollywood's global blockbusters. Russia's film industry has struggled with the financial crisis, but is also still capable of occasionally putting out a film that can compete locally with the American machine. Once a month, SRAS provides a lineup of the top five movies in Russia by box office take - with the official Russian-language trailers from YouTube and, for those Russian films on the list, additional commentary taken from the Russian Modern Film page of our Library.
Below are films listed with their English and Russian titles (note that they differ sometimes) as well as how much the film has earned over the calendar month.
1. «Тор 2: Царство Тьмы» - Thor 2: The Dark World - $35.5m
While Russia does not have a well-developed tradition of creating its own superheroes, American superhero films nearly always do well in Russia. Here, it has been given a Russian twist in the translation of its subtitle – "The Dark World" (Темный Мир), has become The Tsardom of Darkness (Царство Тьмы). This shift in terminology gives the title a bit more "Russianness" – but there is also a more technical aspect behind the translation decision. "Темный Мир" is the title of a 2010 Russian-produced fantasy film, which this year has a sequel – "Темный Мир: Равновесие" playing at the same time as Thor 2.
2. «Голодные игры: И вспыхнет пламя» - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - $19.7m
The distributors for the Hunger Games sequel in Russia have taken a bit of poetic license with the subtitle – making it "And the flame flares up."
3. «Горько!» - Gorko! - $18.4m (in November; total $25.4m)
Talanted and progressive Natasha and Roman dream of a European wedding on the beach… However, Natasha’s step-father, a rough city official sees the event as an opportunity to promote his own career and wants to have everything done “just right.” He arranges “an unforgettable reception” at a restaurant with a full set of boring traditional rituals. Unable to overcome the pressure, the couple decides to hold their own dream wedding in secret from their conservative relatives. Due to an absurd accident, both events merge into one.
4. «Сталинград» - Stalingrad (Rus) - $8.8m (in November; total $51.4m)
Stalingrad is a Russian war drama film directed by prominent Russian film director and actor Fedor Bondarchuk. This is the first Russian movie completely produced with 3D technology and the first non-American film produced using the IMAX format. It was submitted as the Russian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. The film is a dramatic love story against the backdrop of grandiose war battle. In 1942 during the Fascist occupation five Soviet soldiers have taken up residence in a home on the shore of the Volga River. A young woman Katya, not wanting to abandon the front-line, also lives there. Now the intelligence officers need to not only deal with the approaching Germans, but also protect young Katya from danger. In the course of this the soldiers quickly fall in love with her.
5. «Облачно... 2: Месть ГМО» -Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2: Revenge of the Leftovers-$7.8m (in November; total $11.7m)
While the original film was released under the slightly elongated title "Облачно, возможны осадки в виде фрикаделек" (Literally: Cloudy with Chance of Precipitation in the form of Meatballs), the sequel has been released under the greatly shortened title of just "Облачно..." The subtitle has also been changed (and, in Russian, shortened) to "Revenge of the Genetically Modified Foods."