Russian Cinema Sector Continues to Show Resurgence to Pre-COVID Era Results, Driven by Admissions to “Mulan” and “Tenet”
The seventh weekend after August 1st 2020 reopening of Russian cinemas brings over 1.2 million moviegoers. This is the first time since the lockdown when weekend Russian cinema admissions have exceeded 1 million patrons, and total box office revenue exceeded 360 million rubles. These results are in line with pre-COVID market averages for the Russian cinema sector.
The two box office leaders of the weekend were Disney’s “Mulan”, which lead the market in attendance, and Warner Brothers’ “Tenet”, leading in terms of box office for the second week in a row. According to preliminary data as of September 14th, “Tenet” has generated approximately 150 million rubles showing only a 19.3% decline from its first week in cinemas. This is a box office record for Nolan’s movies in Russia (the corresponding decline for “Interstellar” and “Inception” were 28.5% and 48.9% respectively). Compared to “Dunkirk”, “Tenet”‘s 2nd weekend results were three times higher while its current box office (over 400 million rubles) is 36% better than “Dunkirk” final numbers (317 million rubles). “Mulan” debuted #2 (130 million rubles), but took the lead in attendance (460K) gaining the family movies segment.
Paul Heth, CEO of Karo Group, said “We are getting more and more optimistic regarding the Russian moviegoing market recovery. For the moment only 72% of cinema venues are open, and they are still limited with 50% capacity restrictions, but the weekly growth in attendance and box office shows that people are eager to get back to big screen experience. We were pleased that all of our brands to include our large format offering Luxe, and our luxury experience Karo Black plus our core Karo family pricing program all had strong bookings and usage”
Olga Zinyakova, President of KARO cinema chain, noticed: “With Saint-Petersburg reopening its cinemas this weekend, KARO has relaunched the whole network in 9 regions of Russia. We are extremely happy with this weekend results and we are quite sure that the following weekends will be even more successful as “Mulan” and “Tenet” will continue to attract audience jointly with new releases, including forthcoming domestically produced blockbusters like ‘Streltsov’ which we open later this month”
About Russian Cinema Sector
Russia 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 32 modern cinemas and 262 screens in Moscow, the Moscow region, Saint Petersburg, 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 filmed entertainment entrepreneur, known as a visionary leader and pioneer in the modern Russian cinema industry.