Nyet to Russian Films as U.S. Market Share Explodes
The U.S. is invading Russia at the box office. In the first half of 2011, the proportion of receipts from Hollywood fare is up 13 percent to nearly 60 percent, while the number of releases has remained roughly the same. That's a far cry from just a decade ago, when home-grown fare dominated the Russia box office. Locals blame the shift on the rapid expansion of multiplexes, which has tripled the number of screens since 2005 and allowed for more U.S. tentpoles. "Movies can be released on more screens than before," notes Irina Usacheva, who runs marketing for Karo Premiere, which reps Warner Bros. in Russia. Yolki 2, a film by Russian hitmaker Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), could improve the situation, but accounting for films from Europe and elsewhere, market share for Russian movies is likely to drop to about 15 percent this year.