‘Code’ detonates Russian box office

Action pic takes $3.6 mil over weekend

MOSCOW — Russia’s latest highly promoted local actioner, the nuclear espionage drama “Apocalypse Code,” had an explosive first weekend at the local B.O.

Pic from helmer Vadim Shmelev drew in $3.6 million from Russia and CIS, including Ukraine, where it was released on 656 prints by distrib Karo Prokat.

“Code” follows a FSB (the KGB successor org) colonel, a lithe, early thirties female operative who’s played by local soap star Anastasia Zavorotnyuk, who’s crossing the world frantically to prevent terrorists from detonating nuclear bombs in four capitals. Her main opponent turns out to be a Franco-Arabic banker, who’s played by French thesp Vincent Peres.

Locations in the pic, produced by the intriguingly titled Russian Foundation for Patriotic Film, covered nine countries.

Critical reaction to the pic has been distinctly downbeat, generating little word-of-mouth for the pic’s release.

The $15.5 million production budget and $3.5 million P&A spend are at the top end for the local industry. Any kind of earn out, unless international sales are spectacular, will likely prove tricky given such numbers.