Pirates of the Caribbean

Russia’s Top Movies: May 2011

Published: May 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. Пираты Карибского Моря: На Странных БерегахPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides—$49.7m

Once again, Johnny Depp has proven to be a powerful earner for movies released in Russia. The title here has been translated loosely—becoming “On Stranger Shores” in Russian.


2. Форсаж 5—The Fast and the Furious 5—$28.9m 

The Russian title translates to “afterburn”—a method of suddenly boosting the power of a motor and thus pushing up the speed of the vehicle. It is a more technical phrase, but does capture the meaning of the original title (and in a manner that is perhaps more elegant than the original).


3. РиоRio—$24.8m

Animated films often do well in Russia, even as dacha season starts to eat into box office profits. The same is true for this new film about love birds in Rio de Janeiero (Рио де Жанейро).



4. ТорThor—$16.3m 

As Russians do not have the “th” sound in their language, the Norse god is known as simply “Tor” in Russian.


5.  Кунг-Фу Панда 2Kung Fu Panda 2—$14.9m

Cartoons are also always popular in Russia. Notice that “Кунг-Фу” is nearly identical to the English rendering of name for the Chinese martial art Kung Fu, except that Russian hyphenates the term. Russian also sometimes use the variation “гун-фу,” although not as often as as the version that is closer to the English (although the second version is closer to the original Chinese).

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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