Karo Cinemas Announces Record Breaking Post-Pandemic Surge in Admissions and Box Office Due To “Dune” and “Venom 2”
"Venom 2" becomes the fastest theatrical release in Russian box office history to earn RUB 1 billion rubles in box office receipts
Due to outstanding admissions and box office results for the Fall 2021 season, the Russian cinema sector set an important milestone and reached its highest post pandemic film grosses, and outperformed the same period from 2019, previously Russia’s highest grossing year for theatrical releases. Admissions and box office in September 2021 for KARO increased nearly 30 percent from September 2019.
Russian cinemas continue the fastest recovery among all European cinema markets and with many more major studio and domestic blockbusters releases on their way.
Paul Heth, Karo Group CEO and Olga Zinyakova, President of Karo cinema chain, in a joint statement commented: “We are very encouraged that our loyal audiences are choosing to experience epic storytelling from the world’s most gifted film makers on the big screen. These record breaking admissions and box office results continue to prove that an exclusive theatrical release window is a vital and irreplaceable platform for the ecosystem of both cinema operators and for motion picture producers and studios. As the leading theatrical market in Europe, Russia continues to play an integral role in the overall recovery of the global motion picture industry”.
Russian moviegoers have demonstrated great interest in high profile studio projects that have been postponed for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them were “Dune” and “Venom 2,” which both having quickly crossed the billion ruble box office mark and have set new records for the film industry in 2021.
“Venom 2” grossed one billion rubles (USD $13.77 million) over the first four days of its theatrical release which is not only the best start of the post-COVID period, but also the most successful start ever for a Sony release in Russia. The initial results of “Venom 2” surpassed the original Venom release by 14%.
Earlier, on September 26, Denis Villeneuve’s film “Dune” from Warner Brother’s collected a total of RUB 1.055 billion rubles (USD $14.55 million) by the end of its second weekend in Russia. The film adaptation of the popular novel managed to post the post-COVID record for the opening weekend box office (USD $7.8 million) – the previous post-COVID record belonged to “Mortal Kombat” (USD $6.5 million) also a Warner’s film. Dune has now earned more than RUB 1.3 billion rubles (USD $17.9 million) at the Russian box office.
“Venom 2” from Sony Pictures is the sixth and DUNE is the fifth film among Russian film releases of 2021, which have grossed one billion rubles or more. The top grossing picture for 2021 in Russia is Disney’s local language release of “The Last Hero: The Root of Evil” which earned RUB 2.048 billion rubles (USD $34.2 million).
About Russian Cinema Sector
Russia, the number one theatrical market in Europe, is one of the world’s most dynamic and growing markets for filmed entertainment. Russia cinemas attracted a record 217 million visitors in 2019, the third consecutive year annual admissions exceeded 200 million.
Box office in Russia in 2019 was 56 billion rubles, making it a vital and top 10 overall international theatrical market for major studios and independent producers. Local production accounted for 22% of the overall box office. The success of local production is a major factor in the continued growth and sustainability of the Russian film sector.
The Karo cinema chain which was founded in 1997, has set a new standard for the theatrical exhibition industry in Russia. Today Karo is one of the leading, and most technologically advanced cinema chains in the country with 33 modern cinemas and 266 screens in Moscow, the Moscow region, Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Tyumen and Surgut, KARO operates five of Russia’s top ten highest grossing cinemas to include the number one and number two cinemas, KARO Sky 17 at AviaPark and Karo Vegas 22.
Karo Cinemas are visited by over 12 million people annually. In addition KARO leads the Russian cinema sector in online engagement. In 2017 KARO was named by international Convention “CineEurope” as the best European cinema circuit, chosen from among 18 other cinema chains from 37 countries. Since 2012, the major and controlling owner of KARO is a consortium of investors consisting of UFG Private Equity, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Paul Heth, a film entertainment entrepreneur, known as a visionary leader and pioneer in the modern Russian cinema industry.