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 capable of producing films that can occasionally 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, links to our Russian film site.
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. Пираты Карибского Моря: На Странных Берегах—Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides—$63.2m
Once again, Johnny Depp has proven to be a powerful earner for movies released in Russia. The title here has been translated loosely—becoming “On Stranger Shores” in Russian.
2. Кунг-Фу Панда 2—Kung Fu Panda 2—$31.4m
Cartoons are also always popular in Russia. Notice that “Кунг-Фу” is nearly identical to the English rendering of name for the Chinese martial art Kung Fu, except that Russian hyphenates the term. Russian also sometimes use the variation “гун-фу,” although not as often as as the version that is closer to the English (although the second version is closer to the original Chinese).
3. Мальчишник 2: Из Вегаса в Бангкок—The Hangover II—$12.9m
While “hangover” in Russian would be translated directly as “похмелье,” the distributors of this film have gone with the term “мальчишник,” which means “bachelor party.” In Russia, with its tradition of hard drinking, “похмелье” is generally a much more serious thing and might bring to mind for many the serious effects of alchoholism rather than an “excessive” night out.
4. Тачки 2—Cars 2—$9.4m
The Russian is much cooler here. While “cars” would be just “машины,” the name has actually been rendered into Russian as “Тачки,” or “rides.” This is the same word used in the translation of MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” reality series, which is rendered into Russian officially as “Тачку на прокачку”—with “прокачка” referring to the general act of pumping or flushing or, in the case of automobiles, specifically priming a carburetor.
5. Люди Икс: Первый класс—X-Men: First Class—$9.3m
Here, the title is rendered in exact translation—without losing the shades of meaning, with “greatest sort” and “first/beginning students” both implied in both the Russian and English variants.