• Box Office

Russian Box Office, February 10 – 13: Uncharted Keeps Death on the Nile off the Map

Valentine’s Day weekend in the Russian box office has shown the best results since the start of 2022 while Uncharted is the highest-grossing release of the weekend.

Released in Russia a week earlier than its US release date in 1,522 cinema theaters, Uncharted tops the Russian box office with 330 mln Russian Ruble ($4.4US). Wise counterprogramming on Valentine’s weekend and a massive marketing campaign coupled with quite a substantial fan base of PlayStation console games and, of course, legions of Tom Holland’s fans made Uncharted the #1 choice for 948,608 moviegoers over its opening weekend.

Holland’s latest movie – Spider-Man: No Way Home – is still running in Russian cinema theaters for the ninth consecutive week hauling 4 mln RUB ($56K) during the weekend for a total of 2.9 bln RUB ($39.7m) since its release on December 15, 2021. Already seen by 8,775,547 moviegoers, Spider-Man: No Way Home is flying high up to the second highest-grossing movie in Russia of all times following Avatar which sold 13,466,217 tickets and grossed 3.5bn RUB in 2009.

Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile runs second though quite far behind Ruben Fleischer’s videogame adaptation in terms of the box office: released in 1,678 cinema theaters day-and-date with its US premiere, the new investigation by Hercule Poirot sold 455,844 tickets grossing 177m roubles ($2.4m) despite the fact that Agatha Christie has always been one of the top-selling novelists in Russia. These numbers seem even more surprising if compared with the opening weekend numbers driven by the first Hercule Poirot movie directed by Branagh which was seen by 1,166,667 people and grossed 336 mln RUB ($5.7 mln) in 2017. It seems adult female moviegoers still don’t feel safe enough to return to cinema theaters.

One of the most anticipated releases of Valentine’s weekend – romantic comedy Marry Me starring Jennifer Lopez – ranks fourth only falling back for the Russian release Disobedient. Shown in 1,802 cinema theaters the comedy about a prankster/blogger ranks third with 215,660 tickets sold grossing 62m RUB ($83K) for a total of 176 mn RUB ($2.3m ) since its release a week ago.

Marry Me was shown in 898 cinema theaters and got the attention of 103,869 moviegoers grossing 38 mln RUB ($503K) over its opening weekend while her latest pre-pandemic movie – criminal dramedy Hustlers, opened as wide in 901 cinema theaters in 2019, sold 197,062 tickets grossing 60 mln RUB ($915K). The fact that the first romantic comedy made by the Golden Globe nominee for the last ten years and actively promoted on her Instagram with 195m followers has fallen short of expectations might be justified by the post-pandemic reluctance of moviegoers to spend their date in cineplexes. Moreover, Valentine’s Day this year is celebrated on Monday, obviously not the best day for a movie date.

The #5 highest-grossing movie of the weekend title goes to Roland Emmerich’s Moonfall zonking with a 79 percent drop. The sci-fi disaster movie starring the Golden Globe winner Halle Berry and the Golden Globe nominee Owen Wilson was selected by 93,003 moviegoers grossing 29 mln RUB ($381K) for a total of 203 mln RUB ($2.7 mln) since its release on February 3.

Still performing nicely is Sing 2 which increased its total box office in Russia to 869 mln RUB ($11.8 mln) after a weekend sale of 37,596 tickets grossing 10.6m RUB ($141K) in 332 cinema theaters screening this animated musical comedy since December 23, 2021.

Another animated movie released over the weekend ranks seventh. Fireheart, a new Canadian – French animated adventure film set in New York in the roaring twenties and voiced by the Golden Globe winner Kenneth Branagh and Olivia Cooke, was watched by 37,696 kids and their parents in 649 cinema theaters contributing 10.2m RUB ($136K) to its box office over the opening weekend.

Rounding out the top ten are, in order: the holdover Nightmare Alley b Golden Globe winner Guillermo del Toro (8.3 mln RUB / $111.1K to the total of 221m RUB / $2.9 mln since its release on January 20); the Russian comedy Fabergé Egg (8.2m RUB / $110.4K over its opening weekend) and the Russian fantasy blockbuster The Last Warrior: A Messenger for Darkness (6.7m RUB / $89K to the total of 2.2 bn RUB / $29.6m since its release on December 23, 2021).