Землетрясение / Earthquake 2016

Russia’s Top Russian Movies: December 2016

Published: January 7, 2017

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.

Below are films listed with their English and Russian titles (note that they differ sometimes), as well as how much the film has earned to date.


Earthquake — Землетрясение — $3.4 million as of December 25, 2016

On December 7, 1988, an earthquake struck Armenia affecting almost half of its territory. Four cities and more than 300 towns and villages were destroyed. 25,000 died, 19,000 were disabled, and more than a million were left homeless.

The movie tells the story of two men against this background. Konstantin is returning home on the day of the earthquake from prison. He was at fault in a car accident that took the lives of Robert’s parents. But now, with the earthquake, two men who have every reason to be at odds find themselves on the same rescue team, working together.

The film was submitted by Armenia as an entrant for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars. The Oscar committee rejected it for having too much Russian participation.


Ёлки 5 — Christmas Trees 5 (Nine Degrees of Celebration) — $3.1 million as of December 25, 2016

The “Yolki” series have become something of a holiday tradition in Russia. One comes out about every year for the holidays. Each follows largely the same group of characters who generally pursue different goals in various Russian cities but who are shown to all be connected in the end. This latest installment puts the two main characters at odds as one attempts to steal a penguin from the other.



Дед Мороз. Битва Магов. — Father Frost. Battle of the Mages. — $0.4 million as of December 25, 2016

Young Masha is tormented by visions of flying, fiery monsters. Her mother worries and her classmates laugh. But one day, in the very center of Moscow, Masha actually sees one of her fire monsters. At the last moment, she is saved by a young person who claims to be a magician. Thus, Mary is brought into a secret group, where she discovers that Grandfather Frost really exists and, in fact, heads an army of magicians who can control snow and ice and who protect the Earth from an invasion of dark forces who gather to strike during the holiday season.


Три богатыря и Морской царь — Three Bogatyrs and the Sea Tsar  — $0.4 million as of December 25, 2016

In the latest installment of the now large “Three Bogatyrs” franchise, our heroes are tending to family problems. To solve them, they decide to go to China for the tooth of the dragon, a symbol of wisdom and strength. At the same time, the Prince of Kiev decides to capture the Treasure of the Sea Tsar to “patch up” his budget. The Sea Tsar, however, decides to get married in Kiev and therefore heads there, flooding the city as he goes. Now, the only things that will save our heroes and their people are the things that always save them: friendship, courage, and love.


About the author

Josh Wilson

Josh has lived in Moscow since 2003, when he first arrived to study Russian with SRAS. He holds an M.A. in Theatre and a B.A. in History from Idaho State University, where his masters thesis was written on the political economy of Soviet-era censorship organs affecting the stage. At SRAS, Josh assists in program development and leads our Home and Abroad Programs. He is also the editor-in-chief for the SRAS newsletter, the SRAS Family of Sites, and Vestnik. He has previously served as Communications Director to Bellerage Alinga and has served as a consultant or translator to several businesses and organizations with interests in Russia.

Program attended: SRAS Staff Member

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