'Stalingrad' Tops Russia's Box Office for 2013

1:52 AM PST 12/27/2013 by Vladimir Kozlov
"Stalingrad"

It's the first time in the country's post-Soviet era that a local film has beaten out Hollywood to lead the year-end list.

MOSCOW -- Fyodor Bondarchuk's Stalingrad has become Russia's top-grossing movie of 2013, beating the third installment of the Iron Man franchise. It's the first time in the country's post-communist period that a local film has beaten out Hollywood blockbusters to lead the year-end list.

According to local research group Movie Research, Stalingrad grossed $50.8 million (1.66 billion rubles), topping Iron Man 3's $42.2 million (1.38 billion rubles) Russian total.

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The two leaders were followed by Thor: The Dark World ($35.6 million) and Despicable Me 2 ($35.5 million).

Earlier, Stalingrad was celebrated as Russia's all-time box office champion among local movies, as it outperformed Ironiya Sudby, Prodolzheniye (The Irony of Fate, Sequel), a 2007 release from Timur Bekmambetov's Bazelevs.

The producers of Stalingrad attribute the movie's success to the "spectacular way" it depicts the WWII Battle of Stalingrad, which helped attract younger audiences who normally opt for Hollywood action movies. The film had a budget of $30 million.

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Another Russian film, Legenda Nomer 17 (Legend No. 17), a biopic of 1970s ice hockey player Valery Kharlamov, made the box office top 10, landing in seventh with $28.2 million. By comparison, in 2012, no local movies made the list.

Stalingrad's six-week theater run started on Oct. 10 in regular and Imax theaters, and revenues from Imax screenings accounted for 13 percent of its box office gross.

The movie was Russia's entry in the Oscar race in the best foreign language film category but didn't get short-listed.

Stalingrad is scheduled to be released in the U.K. and U.S. next February.

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