Hollywood studios may not be releasing movies in Russia these days, due to that its invasion of Ukraine, yet three foreign films still managed to crack the country’s top ten highest grossing titles for the first nine months of 2023. The Cinema Fund reports that the local language “Cheburashka” tops this year’s box office charts, having earned RUB ?6.7 billion (USD $66.34 million), imported movies such as “John Wick: Chapter 4” are in fourth place with RUB ?874 million (USD $8.74 million).
Fifth and sixth place on the Cinema Fund’s chart also go to foreign titles; the French animated movie “Lady Bug and Cat Noir: The Force Awakens” bringing in RUB ?800 million (USD $7.9 million) and the British “Operation Fortune: The Art of Victory” with RUB ?685 million (USD $6.8 million).
We’re thinking that perhaps the pirated screenings of “Barbie” weren’t being included in the survey (which, of course, calls into question the accuracy of any of the country’s current box office statistics). Though the Warner Bros. Pictures blockbuster has not officially been licensed in Russia, like many other Hollywood titles, it is screening openly in numerous cinemas, especially in Moscow. Technically, moviegoers are buying a ticket at a cost of RUB ?400 to ?500 (USD $4 to $5) to see a short film with “Barbie” being shown before hand as a “preview.” Many other Hollywood titles have been screening in Russian cinemas through the same scheme.