Legend #17

Russia’s Top Movies: April 2013

Published: April 30, 2013

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. ОбливионOblivion—$17.6m

While “обливион” is not a Russian word (the translation of “oblivion” would be “забвение” or “забытьё”), the distributors of the Russian version of this film have chosen to transliterate rather than translate the title. This is perhaps because the translation into Russian is more obviously related to the central plot twist—forgetting—that the film’s plot hinges on.


2.  Легенда № 17Legend #17 (Rus)—$16.5m


3. G.I. Joe: Бросок Кобры 2G.I. Joe: Retaliation—$6.2m (in April; total—$15m)

Russian distributors seem to greatly prefer names for sequels that use numerals. Thus, this film has reverted to the name of the original G.I. Joe movie in Russian: Бросок Кобры (Lunge of the Cobra) to become G.I. Joe: The Lunge of Cobra 2.


4. Зловещие мертвецы. Черная книгаEvil Dead—$5.8m

This cult classic has a direct translation of its name into Russian, although the distributors have chosen to add “The Black Book” as a subtitle.


5.  Семейка КрудсThe Croods—$5.7m (in April; total $27.6m)

The distributors for The Croods have elected to clarify in Russian that “Crood” is a family name—changing the name of the film to “The Crood Family.” Note that they have also elected to use “семейка,” the diminutive of the standard Russian word for “family,” which is “семья.” This use of the diminutive helps let us know that the film is a comedy and that we should care for the main characters, The Croods.

About the author

Josh Wilson

Josh Wilson is the Assistant Director for The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) and Communications Director for Alinga Consulting Group. In those capacities, he has been managing publications and informative websites covering geopolitics, history, business, economy, and politics in Eurasia since 2003. He is based in Moscow, Russia. For SRAS, he also assists in program development and leads the Home and Abroad Programs

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