Planet of the Apes

Russia’s Top Movies: August 2011

Published: August 30, 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. Восстание планеты обезьян—Rise of the Planet of the Apes—$11.8m

The translation of the title here is fairly direct, although “восстание” in Russian is stronger in meaning than “rebellion” or “revolt.” The English “rise” is more often associated with beginnings or creation—although it can also infer rebellion (to rise up; to rise against).


2.  СмурфикиThe Smurfs—$10.3m

Again, quite direct, although the Russian has elected to not only transliterate the name of the fictional blue creatures, but to also make it diminutive—just in case you were unsure if the Surfs were small and cute… 


3. Секс по дружбеFriends With Benefits—$9.3m

(Offensive language in the movie trailer.) The Russian here is slightly different and more direct, with none of the ambiguity and euphemism of the English. “Секс по дружбе” would translate directly to something along the lines of “Sex Through Friendship” or perhaps “Sex Based on Friendship.” 


4. Конан-ВарварConan the Barbarian—$8.7m

Again, a direct translation, though note that Russian uses a hyphen to indicate that “Barbarian” is intrinsically what Conan is.


5. Пункт назначения 5—Final Destination 5—$7.9m

Here, the Russian is slightly different. “Пункт назначения” would be specifically “point of destination,” which is a close but not direct translation. However, the Russian “назначения” also carries implications of “appointment”—which works well with the films subject matter of people who have “missed their date with death…”

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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