Russia

Will 'A Good Day to Die Hard' Get a Russian Box Office Bounce? on February 16, 2013

bruce.pngEarlier this week, the Russian Parliament announced a bill that will severely restrict the number of foreign films shot in Russia. But Hollywood studios have already made peace with anchoring stories in Russia, but filming them elsewhere -- take A Good Day to Die Hard, which is set in Moscow but was actually shot in Hungary. Still, strengthening ties to the growing Russian audience is a smart move. Box office analysts can measure just how smart by tracking the gross of A Good Day to Die Hard, which looks likely to break the $8.6 million total intake of 2007's Live Free or Die Hard. The fifth film in the Bruce Willis franchise made $1.5 million on this Thursday alone, though that number should be taken with an asterisk given the Valentine's holiday. The risk, however, is that Good Day may turn off Russian audiences by bungling its use of the setting. The film annoyed American critics by, among other errors, suggesting that Willis could drive from Moscow to Chernobyl, Ukraine in an afternoon. Russian film fans may be even more sensitive to mistakes, which means word of mouth could crush box office expectations. 

Director Boris Khlebnikov on his "Purely Russian" Modern Western on February 15, 2013

Boris.jpgIn an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Russian director Boris Khlebnikov spoke out about the unusual conditions of filming in his country and the curiously cynical tastes of local audiences. Khlebnikov, the director of festival hits Free Floating and Help Gone Mad, will have his latest film, A Long and Happy Life, screen this week as part of the Berlinale Film Festival. He describes his agricultural drama about a farming community that wages bureaucratic war against the government as being inspired by High Noon, but went on to stress the differences between Western and Russian filmgoers as one of optimism and open-mindedness:

"I thought that if I changed the characters around and changed their positive attributes to negative attributes, I would get a purely Russian story. Things are so mixed up in Russia. There are no well-established positive role models. People do not trust the police or the government. Therefore, there can be no clear-cut protagonist. We do not have a clear moral compass, and that's why we have such a problem with heroes in movies. Because our enemy is hidden and could be anywhere!"

Khlebnikov went on to mention that he had yet to receive the Visa that would allow him to visit the Berlinale festival in person. Read the full interview here

'Django Unchained' Crosses $14 Million in Russia on February 14, 2013

django.pngQuentin Tarantino's Django Unchained has made $14.5 million to date in Russia, far exceeding the take of his last film, Inglourious Basterds. In its entire run, Basterds -- a World War II satire with more explicit ties to Russian history than his latest pre-Civil War slavery indictment -- made just $5.9 million. Now in its fourth week of release, Django continued to pull in just under a million during the weekend, enough to rank 7th in the box office charts. Though that rate will dip next weekend, if Django continues to stick around in theaters, it's possible that it can rake in three times more than Basterds, giving Tarantino a personal box office best in Russia that will be hard to beat.

BOX OFFICE ACTUALS: 'Bullet to the Head,' "Texas Chainsaw 3D' Make Weak Debuts on February 12, 2013

gladiators.jpgAs predicted, the Jackie Chan adventure Chinese Zodiac and the Jason Statham shoot-em-up Parker stayed at the top of the Russian charts for the second weekend in a row. The more interesting movement was in the middle of the charts where the Italian 3D cartoon Gladiators of Rome fended off fellow newcomers Bullet to the Head and Texas Chainsaw 3D. Are Russian audiences wearying of action-thrillers? The lingering success of Django Unchained says otherwise, which has held on to a slot in the top ten for four weeks. But the charts are glutted with macho fare, which means Gladiators made for savvy counter-programming. When released in the States, Gladiators will feature the voice of Footloose and Safe Haven's Julianne Hough, 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full box office chart below:

RANK

TITLE

GROSS

TOTAL

WEEKS

1

Chinese Zodiac

$2.3M

$7.6M

2

2

Parker

$1.8M

$6.3M

2

3

Les Miserables

$1.7M

$1.7M

1

4

Gladiators of Rome

$1.6M

$1.6M

1

5

Warm Bodies

$1.5M

$1.5M

2

6

Bullet to the Head

$965K

$965K

1

7

Django Unchained

$939K

$14.5M

4

8

Texas Chainsaw 3D

$934K

$934K

1

9

Ticket to Vegas

$337K

$6.6M

3

10

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

$287K

$18.7M

4

'Live Free or Die Hard' May Be One of the Last Foreign Films Shot in Russia on February 11, 2013

die_hard.jpgThe Russian parliament is considering restricting the number of foreign films allowed to shoot inside the country in an attempt to boost local production and ticket sales. The bill suggests that movies be divided into three categories -- "national," "co-produced" and "foreign" -- while stipulating that foreign films will be denied filming permits. According to the new definitions, a national film must be at least 60% locally funded with 70% of the cast and crew being Russian. The percentages for co-produced films drop to 40%. Meanwhile, a secondary bill submitted last month demands that foreign films make up no more than 20% of the Russian box office. As perspective, in 2012 foreign films were 85% of the country's movie industry. The suggested change in policy comes the week that Bruce Willis' Live Free of Die Hard -- a foreign film shot mostly in Russia -- opens in the United States. 


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