Russian summer box office sets ruble record

Russian summer box office sets ruble record
Scene from Suicide Squad (2016, dir. David Ayer), one the top-grossing Hollywood releases in Russia

8 September 2016

This summer’s box office gross in Russia has set an all-time record in ruble terms, with Hollywood films leading the charge.

In the June – August period, Russia’s total box office amounted to 12.9 billion rubles (approx. US$202 million), a seven per cent increase over summer 2014’s previous record, 12.1 billion rubles (approx. US$190 million).

The record-breaking performance was mostly driven by the success of Hollywood films, with local films making up just two percent of the box office gross. This may be unsurprising, however, given the unwillingness of many Russian producers to release their films in the summer.

The season’s top-grossing releases were Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets, which took in 1.7 billion rubles ($26.3 million), Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad (1.6 billion rubles or $24.8 million) and Lionsgate’s Now You See Me 2 (1.1 billion rubles or $17 million).

However, due to the weakening of the ruble, 2014’s box office performance remains the highest ever in US dollar terms. The total box office gross that summer reached $336 million at that year’s average exchange rate of the ruble to the dollar, compared to just $200 million this summer.

This development comes in the midst of a poor year at the box office for Russian films. CEO of Roskino, Ekaterina Mtsitouridze, stated that nearly all Russian films this year have failed to make a profit. According to Ms Mtsitouridze, the only film to record a profit is Flight Crew (2016, dir. Nikolay Lebedev).

Source: The Hollywood Reporter