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‘Admiral’ steams to Russia record

Bolshevik Revolution drama breaks bank

MOSCOW — Russia’s latest blockbuster release, Bolshevik Revolution period drama “Admiral,” saw record-breaking opening figures for the territory as it pulled in $13.2 million on just over 2 million admissions since last Thursday’s 1,247-print release.

Previous record-holder was local comedy spoof “The Very Best Film,” which bowed to $16.5 million in January but topped out at just over $27.5 million.

“Admiral,” a $20 million epic produced by state TV’s First Channel and five years in the making, has the same brace of stars as Timur Bekmambetov’s recent hit “Irony of Fate: The Sequel,” which nudged $50 million following its release last December.

With an elaborate large-scale model of a warship gracing the steps of Moscow’s central Pushkinsky cinema — where the film had its red carpet premiere on Thursday — producers anticipate strong audiences in the territory that includes Russia and Ukraine.

Producer Anatoly Maksimov told Variety: “We were extremely nervous because this is a totally different film for our audiences.

“Feedback from screenings across Russia and surrounding territories are very encouraging — audiences are cheering throughout the two hours. We hope this marks the beginning for Russian cinema of a new direction.”

Next weekend’s perf will help determine if director Andrei Kravchuk’s film, which Maksimov described as “a radical cinematic experiment for Russian audiences,” has staying power.

Starring Konstantin Khabensky as Admiral Alexander Kolchak — a renowned Tsarist-era polar explorer, WWI naval commander and anti-Communist leader following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution — the film is a piece of historical revisionism unthinkable as recently as a decade or so ago.

The film sports thousands of special effects created by some of Moscow’s top visual artists.

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