B.O. CUME (YTD 2008): $33.4 million

TOPPERS: Rouben Dishdishyan, prexy; Armen Dishdishyan, exec VP, international; Mark Lolo, general director, Central Partnership Sales House

UP NEXT: “Burn After Reading” (Oct. 2), “Outlander” (Oct. 30), “The Ghost” (Nov. 13)

In the decade or so since Moscow’s Central Partnership was founded by Armenian-born architect Rouben Dishdishyan and his cousins, the company has carved out a solid niche as Russia’s leading indie distributor and producer.

The top indie for three year running, CP has even outperformed some of the U.S. studios’ Russian arms in the past couple of years: Last year it grossed $85 million (a 15.1% market share), making it the No. 3 distributor overall behind UPI ($95.9 million) and Caro Premier/Warner Bros. ($92.5 million), but ahead of Disney, Sony and Fox.

Its big hit last year was Nikolai Lebedev’s fantasy epic “Wolfhound,” which grossed just over $20 million.

As of early August, CP remained in pole position among indies and stood at No. 5 overall among Russia’s distributors with grosses at $33.4 million, with 24 releases.

The company hopes to maintain its indie lead through careful pic selection and “more creative” advertising and promotion as well as working more closely with Russian producers to make more marketable films, says Armen Dishdishyan. “Our major strength is our well-packaged titles from Russia, the U.S. and Europe,” he adds.