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. Кот в сапогах—Puss in Boots—$35.5m
The Russian title of this fairy tale has always been a direct translation of the Englishьььwhich in itself is a translation of the French original. While “puss” is now an informal word in English, it was once a standard word for “cat” in late middle English. The term “puss” is related to the word for “cat” as currently used in Norwegian, Dutch, Lithuanian, Low German, and other languages.
2. Сумерки. Сага. Рассвет–Часть 1—The Twilight Saga–Breaking Dawn–Part 1—$26.7m
While Russia has no equivalent of the “Twilight Moms,” the series is still popular in Russia. The name has been considerably simplified in Russian, as well. If directly translateд back to English, it would be Twilight. Saga. Dawn. Those of you who are exceptionally observant will note that this movie did have its premier in Russia on November 17, not 18, as the graphics in this video would imply.
3. Война Богов: Бессмертные—Immortals—$15.4m
While The Twilight Saga may have seen its name simplified somewhat, Immortals has been elaborated on. This appears to perhaps be an attempt to piggy-back on the popularity a 2004 film French-produced sci-fi film known as Бессмертные: Война миров had in Russia. Altering names to recall former box office successes is not uncommon in Russia. The Runaway Bride, for instance, was marketed in Russia as Красотка 2: Сбежавшая невеста, or, if translated back to English, Pretty Woman 2: The Runaway Bride. Pretty Woman, also staring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, was wildly popular in Russia, and hence the distributors jumped at the chance to use this marketing ploy—even though the two films are unrelated except for their headlining stars.
4. Бой с тенью 3: Последний Раунд—Shadowboxing 3: The Final Round (Rus)—$11.9m
In just two weekends, this sequel to movies released in 2005 and 2007 became the top-grossing Russian film for 2011.
5. Время—In Time—$9.6m
While a direct translation of the English title would have this movie called “Во время” in Russian, its Russian distributors have chosen to call it simply Time.