The movie box office in Russia grew 9.5% last year to 49 billion rubles ($727 million), according to comScore.
“Zootopia” was the best-selling film with 2.08 billion rubles ($28.2 million), followed by “The Secret Life of Pets” with 1.99 billion rubles ($311 million). “Deadpool” was third with 1.61 billion rubles (20.4 million), and then “Suicide Squad” on 1.59 billion rubles ($23.8 million).
Local films nabbed a 17.8% share of the total and occupied two of the top 20 positions. Nikolai Lebedev’s disaster movie “The Flight Crew” was the top Russian film and fifth overall, with a gross of 1.43 billion rubles ($21.6 million).
Andrey Kravchuk’s historical epic “Viking” came in in 10th place in 2016 with 1.2 billion rubles ($19.7 million), and is still in theaters. The film grossed 398 million rubles ($6.7 million) across four territories in the Jan. 5-8 weekend, which earned it a place in the top 10 movies of the international box office, which excludes the U.S.
Katya Mtsitouridze, CEO of Russian movie promotional agency Roskino, commented: “A Russian film in the world box-office top 10 is a great achievement not only for this particular project but for the Russian film industry as a whole.”
Mtsitouridze reported strong foreign sales activity for the film at the American Film Market in November, when it elicited interest from buyers in 45 territories. It was produced by Konstantin Ernst, director general of broadcaster Channel One, and Anatoly Maximov on a $20 million budget. Central Partnership distributed the film, as well as “The Flight Crew.”
Ernst said that entering the international top 10 in its second weekend was “beyond our wildest expectations.” He added: “The whole team that spent the last seven years working on the project is extremely happy.”