Russia has been serving as a life-preserver for films coming off disastrous runs in North America. The country has helped rescue After Earth with $17 million, making it the second-most important market for M Night Shyamalan's father-son sci-fi vehicle behind China. The Lone Ranger has had a similarly successful run, bringing in $15.1 million since its day-and-date debut -miles ahead of Australia, the second-ranked market, where the Disney film has grossed $8.3 million. Pacific Rim has taken off in Russia with $16.8 million in two weeks, posting both the biggest hold and cumulative gross of the film's overseas release.
R.I.P.D. joined the list with a $6.2 million opening weekend, accounting for a market-leading $7,660 average across 810 screens. R.I.P.D. will need many more markets to close in on Universal's reported $130 million production budget for the film, a figure that does not factor in the costly global P&A expenses that typically add tens of millions of dollars to a film's overall budget. R.I.P.D. has grossed $22.7 million worldwide and is currently in release in ten overseas territories.
Turbo had a mixed result when taking into account its wide release in 2,068 screens. No film played as extensively as Turbo in Russia, but the animated film only averaged $1,962 per screen for a $4 million opening weekend, taking its cumulative total to $7.9 million including previews. The weekend gross places Turbo in third place, but its cumulative gross makes it the week's most successful new release.
The big exception to this trend also came after this weekend's box office results. White House Down floundered with a $1.9 million opening weekend across a modest 634 screens. Roland Emmerich's action flick placed second in per-screen average, however, bringing in an estimated $3,139 from each location.
The bottom half of the top ten in Russia includes three films in the country's $20 million club: World War Z ($24.7M), Now You See Me ($20.3M), and Monsters University ($20.6M).
Top 10 Films in Russia. July 19-21, 2013.
Dolgaya schastlivaya zhizn (A Long and Happy Life), directed by Boris Khlebnikov, is representative of a new trend in Russian film-making: "ultra-realistic," as the director of the Russian Resurrection Film Festival Nicholas Maksymow christened it. As opposed to other Russian films which may focus on graphic violence and social realism, Dolgaya schastlivaya zhizn tells the story of an ostensibly indistinct man who faces tribulations.
The 10th Russian Resurrection Film Festival is the largest festival of its kind outside of Russia. It started July 3 in Melbourne, Australia and concludes August 4 in Byron Bay, Australia. Aside from Dolgaya schastlivaya zhizn, the festival is showing other Russian films from Anton's Right Here to Legend No. 17. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the long-awaited final picture by Russian director Aleksei German will be released this fall. German died in February at age 74.
Trudno byt Bogom (Hard to be a God) will be completed by Aleksei German Jr., who is an accomplished director of his own. The film is still moving in his father’s direction, “working from his notes, directions, desires and will, and that is the most important.”
Work on the film is going as scheduled. “The original image has been cleaned and computer graphic work has been completed. Work on color correction has started,” German Jr. said.
Trudno byt Bogom is an adaptation of the 1963 Russian science-fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Srugatsky. This film has been a long time coming, as filming began as early as 1999.
An $8.8 million opening weekend gave Pacific Rim the top spot at the Russian box office over the weekend. Guillermo del Toro's high-concept tent-pole averaged $5,768 from 1,540 screens. Disney's The Lone Ranger was a distant second with a $2.9 million sophomore frame, a 55% drop from its opening weekend, to reach a $12.2 million cume. Turbo came in third place with a $2 million take despite leading the screen count in the territory with 1,603 locations.
Other top performers in Russia include World War Z ($23.3M in 3 weeks), Monsters University ($19.9M in 4 weeks), and Now You See Me ($19.6M in 5 weeks).
Top 10 Films in Russia. July 12-14, 2013.
A $9.3 million debut for Pacific Rim propelled Guillermo Del Toro's tent-pole to the top of the box office in Russia. The film scored higher than many other comparable titles in the market: 377% higher than The Day After Tomorrow, 214% above Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 208% ahead of War of the Worlds, and 177% more than Transformers 2.
Disney posted strong numbers in the market as well. Monsters University hit the $20 million mark in Russia this weekend and The Lone Ranger continued its successful run in the country by reaching a $12.4 million cume. Russia accounts for about a quarter of The Lone Ranger's total overseas gross. The adventure Western has already surpassed the four-week $10.7 million total for Man of Steel.
World War Z added another $1.4 million in its third weekend to reach a $23.3 million cume. The zombie thriller has been playing holding well in Russia with three consecutive weekends above the $1 million mark. Fox's comedy The Heat has also been connecting with Russian audiences. The Heat held on for a $1 million weekend, a 43% drop from its previous frame, to reach a $3.8 million total.