Russia

Director Boris Khlebnikov on his "Purely Russian" Modern Western on February 15, 2013

Boris.jpgIn an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Russian director Boris Khlebnikov spoke out about the unusual conditions of filming in his country and the curiously cynical tastes of local audiences. Khlebnikov, the director of festival hits Free Floating and Help Gone Mad, will have his latest film, A Long and Happy Life, screen this week as part of the Berlinale Film Festival. He describes his agricultural drama about a farming community that wages bureaucratic war against the government as being inspired by High Noon, but went on to stress the differences between Western and Russian filmgoers as one of optimism and open-mindedness:

"I thought that if I changed the characters around and changed their positive attributes to negative attributes, I would get a purely Russian story. Things are so mixed up in Russia. There are no well-established positive role models. People do not trust the police or the government. Therefore, there can be no clear-cut protagonist. We do not have a clear moral compass, and that's why we have such a problem with heroes in movies. Because our enemy is hidden and could be anywhere!"

Khlebnikov went on to mention that he had yet to receive the Visa that would allow him to visit the Berlinale festival in person. Read the full interview here

'Django Unchained' Crosses $14 Million in Russia on February 14, 2013

django.pngQuentin Tarantino's Django Unchained has made $14.5 million to date in Russia, far exceeding the take of his last film, Inglourious Basterds. In its entire run, Basterds -- a World War II satire with more explicit ties to Russian history than his latest pre-Civil War slavery indictment -- made just $5.9 million. Now in its fourth week of release, Django continued to pull in just under a million during the weekend, enough to rank 7th in the box office charts. Though that rate will dip next weekend, if Django continues to stick around in theaters, it's possible that it can rake in three times more than Basterds, giving Tarantino a personal box office best in Russia that will be hard to beat.

BOX OFFICE ACTUALS: 'Bullet to the Head,' "Texas Chainsaw 3D' Make Weak Debuts on February 12, 2013

gladiators.jpgAs predicted, the Jackie Chan adventure Chinese Zodiac and the Jason Statham shoot-em-up Parker stayed at the top of the Russian charts for the second weekend in a row. The more interesting movement was in the middle of the charts where the Italian 3D cartoon Gladiators of Rome fended off fellow newcomers Bullet to the Head and Texas Chainsaw 3D. Are Russian audiences wearying of action-thrillers? The lingering success of Django Unchained says otherwise, which has held on to a slot in the top ten for four weeks. But the charts are glutted with macho fare, which means Gladiators made for savvy counter-programming. When released in the States, Gladiators will feature the voice of Footloose and Safe Haven's Julianne Hough, 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full box office chart below:

RANK

TITLE

GROSS

TOTAL

WEEKS

1

Chinese Zodiac

$2.3M

$7.6M

2

2

Parker

$1.8M

$6.3M

2

3

Les Miserables

$1.7M

$1.7M

1

4

Gladiators of Rome

$1.6M

$1.6M

1

5

Warm Bodies

$1.5M

$1.5M

2

6

Bullet to the Head

$965K

$965K

1

7

Django Unchained

$939K

$14.5M

4

8

Texas Chainsaw 3D

$934K

$934K

1

9

Ticket to Vegas

$337K

$6.6M

3

10

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

$287K

$18.7M

4

'Live Free or Die Hard' May Be One of the Last Foreign Films Shot in Russia on February 11, 2013

die_hard.jpgThe Russian parliament is considering restricting the number of foreign films allowed to shoot inside the country in an attempt to boost local production and ticket sales. The bill suggests that movies be divided into three categories -- "national," "co-produced" and "foreign" -- while stipulating that foreign films will be denied filming permits. According to the new definitions, a national film must be at least 60% locally funded with 70% of the cast and crew being Russian. The percentages for co-produced films drop to 40%. Meanwhile, a secondary bill submitted last month demands that foreign films make up no more than 20% of the Russian box office. As perspective, in 2012 foreign films were 85% of the country's movie industry. The suggested change in policy comes the week that Bruce Willis' Live Free of Die Hard -- a foreign film shot mostly in Russia -- opens in the United States. 

RUSSIAN BOX OFFICE: Hugh Jackman Can't Unseat Jackie Chan on February 10, 2013

lesmis.pngLes Miserables made its Russian debut this weekend and grossed an estimated $1.6 million across 470 theaters, the second-biggest opening for a musical in the country since 2008's Mamma Mia. (By coincidence, both films starred Amanda Seyfried.) Still, during this competitive weekend on the Russian charts, Les Miserables' take wasn't enough to place first -- or even second or third. The Hugh Jackman musical is pegged to take 4th place for the weekend with the Jackie Chan adventure Chinese Zodiac holding on to the #1 spot for the second week in a row. Chinese Zodiac made roughly $2 million over the weekend for a total of $7.4 million.


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