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. Жизнь Пи—Life of Pi—$29.2m
“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 never declines in Russian grammar.
2. Три богатыря на дальних берегах—Three Bogatyrs on Distant Shores (Rus)—$24.5m (in January; total $30.5m)
This is the fifth installment of an animated saga of the three famous Russian heroes. Through the witchery of Baba Yaga they end up “on the distant shores” on a foreign island populated by vicious locals.
3. Хоббит: Нежданное путешествие—The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey—$17.1m (in January; total $43.6)
Peter Jackson’s controversial film hits #1 in Russia – with a very straightforward translation of its title.
4. Охотники на ведьм—Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters—$15.6m
The translation of this title is pretty straightforward: “охотник на ведьм” indeed means “witch hunter.” However, the reference to the classic western fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel has been dropped. Russia has its own classic fairy tales—but “Hansel and Gretel” is not well known in Russia.
5. Джанго Освобожденный—Django Unchained—$10.7m
The Russian version of the title directly translates back to English as “Django Freed,” which is close in meaning but leaves the imagery of chains behind. Russian does have a verb—“приковывать”—which specifically means “to chain, rivet, or pin down.” However, the verb does not have a commonly used form that would refer to “unchain.” For that, Russian usually uses освободить.