Like in 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 it is also capable of producing films that can occasionally compete locally with the American machine. Once a month, SRAS provides a lineup of the top Russian movies in Russia that ranked in the top 10 for weekend box-office take.

Я худею – I’m Losing Weight – $10.8 million as of May 01, 2018

Ana has two main loves: her husband, Zhenya, and food. But Zhenya isn’t happy with how Ana’s body has changed, and the pair divorce. Ana, unready to throw in the towel, begins to change her lifestyle and, with the support of her best friend, embarks on an exciting adventure to lose weight and find love and happiness.

Гоголь. Вий – Gogol. Vii – $7.3 million as of April 22, 2018

The scribe from St. Petersburg, Nikolai Gogol, challenges the mysterious dark rider threatening girls in the village Dikanka. Having assembled a team from a local police officer, a superstitious blacksmith and a wondering exorcist philosspher, Gogol tries to trap the villain, but encounters Vii – an evil force that can suck the soul of a mortal with one mere look. Suddenly, Gogol finds out that he’s inextricably connected to the otherworldly forces.

Тренер– Trainer – $5.3 million as of April 22, 2018

National soccer player Yuri Stoleshnikov doesn’t score a penalty during a critical match. He then decides to leave the national team, end his career and coach a small provincial team, where he learns how to bring about miracles and finds the strength to believe in himself.

Каникулыпрезидента– The President’s Vacation– $0.7 million as of April 22, 2018

Tired of Routine, the President decides to go on vacation in Crimea, resting and communicating freely with the people. Realizing that it would be difficult to remain incognito and slip away from his colleagues, he enlists the help of a make-up artist. But his new look is exactly the same as Valery, a man who’s hiding from debt collectors with his mother in a Crimean sanatorium.

Республика Z – Republic Z – $50,000 as of April 22, 2018

An honorable mention goes to Republic Z – which didn’t reach the top 10, but is a unique film. Shot in Yakutia (a Republic in Siberia), in Yakutian, and boasting a Yakutian director, writer, and Yakutian actors, this film was released with subtitles around Russia. It is the story of two friends trying to survive a zombie apocalypse – in Yakutia, of course. It was shot with a budget of just 3.5 million rubles (about 55,000 US dollars), an amount that it grossed back at the box office within two weeks of its initial release.

Katheryn Weaver is a student of rhetoric and history at the University of Texas, Austin. Her primary areas of investigation include revolution and the rhetorical justification of violence against individuals, state, and society. She is currently studying Russian as a Second Language with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship.