×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Russian Box Office Rises by 4.7%

Indie distribs fight for screens as number of releases climbs

Russia’s box office grew by 4.7% in the first half of this year to $696 million, compared with the same period last year, Unifrance’s Joel Chapron told an industry panel at the Locarno Film Festival Sunday.

Chapron added that admissions in Russia had only risen 0.4% to around 94.4 million as most of the rise in box office had come from a hike in ticket prices.

The number of movie released was 245, compared with 373 for the whole of last year. If this pace of film releases continued, then the total for this year will be 495, a rise of 30%.

Chapron said that the rise in releases was compounded by a shortage of screens to make it difficult for indie distribs to get their pics into theaters. There are 3,220 modern screens in Russia, of which only 71% are digitized. Forty per cent of Russians do not have access to a movie theater due to the size of the country and the lack of screens.

Chapron also reported that only 1% of those over the age of 50 go to the cinema, so the vast majority of cinemagoers were in the late teens and early twenties.
The market was dominated by five distribs, which released the pics of the Hollywood majors. They controlled 80% of the box office. In France, by comparison, the top five distribs only control 46% of the box office.

Only one Russian film was in the top 20, ice hockey player biopic “The Legend of No. 17.”

Chapron, who is Unifrance’s head of research and distributor relations for Central and Eastern Europe, was moderating the Locarno’s Step In session, which provides a forum for industry professionals to develop new strategies for the distribution, exhibition and sale of art-house movies.

This year the territory focus was on the Russian market. The panelists were distribution execs Alexandra Ternovskaya of Cinema Prestige, Nadezda Motina of Premium Film, Sergey Nekrasov of Volga Film and Daniel Goroshko of A-One Films, and exhibitor Mary Nazari of Pioner Cinema.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Global Screen Nabs ‘Amazing Maurice,’ Based

    Global Screen Picks Up ‘The Amazing Maurice,’ Based on Terry Pratchett’s Novel (EXCLUSIVE)

    Global Screen has picked up worldwide distribution rights, excluding North America, the U.K. and German-speaking territories, to the English-language animated feature “The Amazing Maurice,” based on a Terry Pratchett novel. The screenplay has been written by Terry Rossio, Oscar-nominated for “Shrek.” Rossio’s credits also include the animated movie “Aladdin” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” [...]

  • Yoji Yamada-directed film is to open

    Tokyo Market: Shochiku Launches Horror, Comedy and Mystery Lineup

    Major Japanese studio, Shochiku has the honor of leading off next week’s Tokyo International Film Festival with its “Tora-san, Wish You Were Here.” The film is a revival of a beloved in-house drama franchise, directed by veteran Yoji Yamada, that is set as the event’s opening night gala presentation. Before that, the company has the [...]

  • The Truth

    Singapore Festival to Focus on Asian Excellence for 30th Edition

    For its 30th edition the Singapore International Film Festival has avoided programming novelty and instead focused on assembling excellence – mostly indie titles — from Asia and further afield. The festival, which previously announced local filmmaker Anthony Chen’s second feature “Wet Season” as its opening night gala presentation, announced the balance of its programming on [...]

  • Isabela Moner Dora the Explorer

    Film News Roundup: Isabela Merced Boards Jason Momoa's 'Sweet Girl' for Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, Isabela Merced get cast opposite Jason Momoa, “Starbright” gets financing and AFM announces its speakers. CASTING Isabela Merced, formerly Isabela Moner, has come on board to portray the daughter of Jason Momoa in his upcoming revenge thriller “Sweet Girl” for Netflix. Momoa will play a devastated man who vows to [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Seeks to Throw Out Gender Pay Gap Lawsuit

    The Walt Disney Co. is seeking to throw out a lawsuit alleging that women employees are paid less than men, arguing that the suit is too sprawling and unwieldy to handle as a class action. Andrus Anderson LLP filed the suit in April, alleging that Disney’s hiring and pay practices have a discriminatory effect on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content