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. Трансформеры: Эпоха истребления—Transformers: Age of Extinction—$23.2m (in July; total $45.2m)

This title is essentially a direct translation. The Russian “истребления” can mean “destruction,” “eradicatation,” or “extermination.”

 

2. Планета обезьян: Революция—Dawn of the Planet of the Apes—$17.6m

In a major example of a movie distributor taking liberties in translating the title of film for a foreign market, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has become Planet of the Apes: Revolution in Russia. In Russian, a direction translation of the English title would produce “Рассвет планеты обезьян.” The modified version, however, emphasizes action rather than story building and utilizes a word that has special context in Russian history and carries connotations of both fear and pride in the modern Russian mindset.

 

3. ГераклHercules—$11.4m 

In Russian, Hercules has been known as “Gerakl” for centuries. In the original Greek, the character is known as “Herakles.”

 

4. Мачо и Ботан 222 Jump Street—$9.5m 

As Russians didn’t have 21 Jump Street in their youth, the name carries no marketing power for them. Thus, a more straightforward comedic title has been applied. Мачо и ботан means roughly “macho man and the geek.”

 

5. Поддубный—Poddubny (Rus)—$5.4m

SRAS specializes in study, research, and travel abroad to Russia and Eurasia. SRAS also maintains this site and provides free info for students studying Russia and Eurasia. Explore our resources to find out more!