Russia’s Top Movies: March 2012

Published: March 30, 2012

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. Джон КартерJohn Carter—$33.2m

Hollywood blockbusters often do well in Russia and around the world.


2.  Лоракс—Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax—$15.5m

As Dr. Seuss is not exceptionally well-known in Russia, his name was dropped from the title of the movie when it was marketed in Russia. The real gem in this movie’s marketing, however, comes in the fact that Danny DeVito was brought on board to voice his character of the Lorax IN RUSSIAN! He doesn’t do so bad, either, it seems.


3.  Гнев титановWrath of the Titans—$12.7m

A fairly direct translation—“гнев” translates directly to “wrath.” Of course, Russian doesn’t need the preposition or the article because it has the genitive.


4.  Голодные игры The Hunger Games—$11.5m

In this mildly interesting translation for this American blockbuster, the title effectively becomes “The Hungry Games,” as the Russian uses an adjective-noun combination while the English uses a compound noun. Had it been directly translated, it would be “Игры голода.”


5. Тот ещё Карлсон!—That Very Same Karlsson (Rus)—$9.9m

This family film is very loosely based on the well-known Karlsson on the Roof series of children’s books created by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. These were adapted into a popular cartoon series in USSR in the 1970s and Karlsson is now considered a beloved character for many Russians, on par with such national mainstays as Cheburashka. This new film stars many famous Russian actors and is a very modern take on the original tale of a very short, rather chubby flying man who is sent to help a boy with no friends and whose parents are on the verge of divorce.

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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