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 year 2013. Note that Russian films are finally starting to fare a bit better in their home markets. After several years of having perhaps one Russian-produced film in the top 10, Russia can boast three locally produced films in the lineup this year.
1. Сталинград—Stalingrad (Rus)—$51.8m
2. Железный человек 3—Iron Man 3—$44.5m
3. Хоббит: Пустошь Смауга—The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug—$41.7m
Despite a late release in December, the new Hobbit movie did incredibly well in 2013, quickly grossing millions of dollars. Note that the Russian version of the title translates directly to “The Wasteland of Smaug.”
4. 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 that has a sequel this year—“Темный Мир: Равновесие,” playing at the same time as Thor 2.
5. Гадкий Я 2—Despicable Me 2—$34.9m
“Гадкий” in Russian usually means “naughty,” “vile,” or “mean.”
6. Форсаж 6—Fast and Furious 6—$34.3m
The Russian title translates to “afterburn”—a method of suddenly boosting the power of a motor and thus pushing up the speed of the vehicle. It is a more technical phrase, but it does capture the meaning of the original title (and in a manner that is perhaps more elegant than the original).
7. Ёлки 3—Christmas Trees 3—$31.9m
8. Холодное сердце—Frozen—$30.7m
Disney’s latest smash hit was released as “Cold Heart” in Russia—and has done remarkably well in 2013 despite being released only in December of that year.
9. Жизнь Пи—Life of Pi—$30.2m
“Жизнь Пи” is a straightforward translation of the title of this popular movie. However, you’ll notice that since “Пи” does not have a regular male, female, or neuter ending, the name does not decline in Russian grammar.
10. Легенда № 17—Legend #17 (Rus)—$29.5m