State Lotteries Offer Promise of New Funding for Russian Filmmakers on June 28, 2013

Russian filmmakers might get lucky finding new state-supported financing for their projects. Culture minister Vladimir Medisnky has gotten the go-ahead to establish five new lotteries with the prupose of raising $120 million annually over the next five years. The funds would benefit film, arts, libraries, tourism and youth programs. The Hollywood Reporter presented this news, citing a report from Russian business publication Kommersant.

The announcement comes shortly after Russia's move to outlaw private lotteries, leaving a clear path for the state to benefit from the contests. This system would, in theory, mimic a similar lottery funding program already in effect in the United Kingdom.


RUSSIA: 'Monsters University' Overshadows 'Man of Steel' on June 26, 2013

MonstersUStill3.jpegSuperman was no match against the monsters at the Russian box office. Monsters University claimed the top spot on the top ten chart with a $7.6 million opening weekend. The performance of the Pixar sequel overshadowed the opening weekend of Man of Steel. The Superman reboot fell short against Monsters University by only grossing $5.8 million in its debut despite playing in nearly three hundred more screens than the animated film.

Now You See Me continued its great run in Russia after breaking the $15 million mark in its second weekend. The magic caper film dropped 66% in its second frame for a $2.7 million gross. The film is on track to overtake more high profile releases like After Earth ($16.5M in three weeks) and The Great Gatsby ($16.7M in six weeks).

Box Office Results for Russia. Weekend of June 21-23, 2013


RUSSIA: 'Now You See Me' Debuts In First Place; 'After Earth' Continues its Strong Run on June 19, 2013

NowYouSeeMeStill.jpgNow You See Me made a big splash in Russia, opening mid-week to a $10.3 million total. The magic caper grossed $8.1 million of that figure over the weekend across 914 screens, leading the market with an impressive $8,935 per-screen average.

The Internship opened in third place with a performance comparable to other recent Hollywood comedies like Couples Retreat, The Other Guys, and Horrible Bosses. The Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson comedy's $1 million opening weekend won't be considered a disappointment, but stands in stark contrast to the overwhelming success that The Hangover Part III has had in Russia. The last entry in The Hangover trilogy has taken in $16.8 million after three weeks in release.

After Earth fell 64% in its sophomore frame for a $2.7 million weekend. Russia ranks among the best performing markets for the sci-fi film, responsible for roughly 16% of its current $91.1 million overseas gross.

Other Hollywood hits currently in release in Russia include Epic ($14M in 3 weeks) and The Great Gatsby ($16.6M in 5 weeks).

Box Office Results for Russia. Weekend of June 14-16, 2013.


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'After Earth' Continues to Thrive in Russia on June 17, 2013

AE-4.jpgAfter Earth might not be turning heads in North America, but it is putting in a strong performance in Russia. The father-son sci-fi vehicle of Will and Jaden Smith grossed $2.6 million over the weekend to take its Russian cume to a strong $14.7 million total. It comes as a breath of fresh air for the M Night Shyamalan's troubled tentpole, which will have to rely on an overseas push to mitigate the damage coming from the North American box office. The rapid rise to $14 million is noteworthy when compared to the steady run of The Great Gatsby; the Baz Luhrman adaptation has grossed a total of $16.7 million in Russia.

The Internship opened in 754 screens in Russia but failed to capture a portion of the success that The Hangover Part III has had in the country. The Internship grossed $1.4 million in its opening weekend, comparable to the performance of other Hollywood comedies like Horrible Bosses, Couples Retreat, and The Other Guys. The opening weekend for The Internship isn't technically a disappointment but won't go anywhere near the blockbuster success of The Hangover Part III. The last installment in The Hangover franchise grossed $867k over the weekend, taking its total in Russia to $16.7 million.

Epic added another $1 million during its third weekend in Russia, taking its total in the market to $14 million. The animated film has grossed $119 million overseas, making Russia responsible for nearly 10% of its current performance outside of North America.


'Legend No. 17' Becomes the Highest Grossing Russian Film of All Time on June 14, 2013

Screen-shot-2013-04-11-at-2-1.18.07-PM.pngSports biopic Legend No. 17 is the highest grossing Russian film of all time, according to a report from Film Journal International. The hockey film detailing the life of Soviet ace Valery Kharlamov surpassed the $27.5 million tally from the previous record holder, Peter Buslov's Vysotsky: Thank God I'm Alive. Both films are biopics about celebrated Russian figures, an indication of the sort of films that Russian audiences respond to. An upcoming mega-production, the WW2 era historical epic Stalingrad, will be the first Russian film to be released in IMAX 3D, with Sony Pictures International taking over the distribution duties in the territory. If the big budget spectacle can deliver upon its domestic release, it might pose a serious threat to the longevity of Legend No. 17 as the historical title holder atop the Russian box office

Legend No. 17 has grossed over $29 million after eight weeks in release in Russia. Last weekend was the first time the sports film placed outside of the top ten after seven consecutive weekends. 

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