Breaking Dawn

Russia’s Top Movies: November 2012

Published: November 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. Сумерки. Сага. Рассвет: Часть 2The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2—$41m

Are sparkly vampires that speak Russian cooler than those who don’t? Here, the distributors have chosen a three-word title for the Russian release of the last installment of The Twilight Saga. Directly translated back to English, it would be “Twilight. Saga. Dawn.”


2. 007: Координаты “Скайфолл”—Skyfall—$17m (in November; total $25m)

Skyfall is now in its second month on Russia’s list of top-grossing movies! The distributors for the Russian release of the new James Bond film have complicated its name to 007: “Skyfall” Coordinates.



3.  Облачный атласCloud Atlas—$15m

A direct translation of the title here—probably good, considering that the plot looks complicated enough…


4.  РальфWreck-it Ralph—$14.6m

Here we have a simplified title. Perhaps because Wreck-it Ralph is a bit slang-y and thus hard to translate, what might have been “Ральф-разрушитель” (Ralph the Destroyer; Ralph the Demolitionist) is now just “Ralph.”  “Разрушитель” would work in this case—see, for instance, how the titles of such films as Demolition Man or Conan the Destroyer were translated—but is perhaps stronger in its connotations. The simplification leaves the title cute and slightly exotic in Russian.


5. Хранители сновRise of the Guardians—$10.7m 

Here we have another case of creative translation in the title. Directly translated to Russian, this film would be called “Восстание хранителей” (see, for example, the translation used for Rise of the Planet of the Apes). The Russian distributors of this popular kids’ film have decided that it would fare better under the title The Guardians of Dreams, which, like the translation used for Wreck-it Ralph this month, is softer and perhaps a bit more exotic.

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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