Russia’s Top Movies: April 2011

Published: April 7, 2011

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. РиоRio—$23m

Animated films often do well in Russia, even as dacha season starts to eat into box office profits. The same is true for this new film about love birds in Rio de Janeiro (Рио де Жанейро).


2. Притворись моей женойJust Go With It—$13.1m

Given the complexity of translating slang and English’s large and sometimes esoteric collection of collocations involving the words “go” and “do,” it isn’t surprising when the phrases are adapted rather than translated. Here, the title in Russian actually translates to “Pretend toBe My Wife,” but it can also be taken as a play on the oft-used Russian marriage proposal “Будь моей женой” (“Be my wife”), which thus works well with the movie’s content, where the woman pretending to be the wife at the beginning becomes the wife in the end.


3. Форсаж 5—The Fast and the Furious 5—$11.8m 

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 does capture the meaning of the original title (and in a manner that is perhaps more elegant than the original).


4.  РангоRango—$11.7m

Johnny Depp is perhaps as beloved, if not more, in Russia as he is in America. His latest effort, like his last (The Tourist), is faring well in Russia—with a simple title and a simple translation.



5. ТорThor—$6.6m 

As Russians do not have the “th” sound in their language, the Norse god is known as simply “Tor” in Russian.

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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