Russia Box Office: 'Vacation' Debuts on Top

Hopper Stone/Warner Bros.

Overall August numbers have been disappointing in the country.

Vacation debuted on top in Russia this past weekend, grossing 125 million rubles ($1.9 million), according to data from Movie Research.

The comedy was followed by American Ultra, which grossed 65.2 million rubles ($965,000). Fantastic Four, the previous weekend's champion, was in third place, grossing 59.5 million rubles ($880,000) during its second weekend in theaters.

In fourth was followed by The Man From U.N.C.L.E., which added 56.7 million rubles ($839,000) to its gross during the third weekend of its run. In fifth place was Sinister 2, which grossed 31.5 million rubles ($466,000), or just about the same as its opening weekend a week before.

For the first time in weeks, a Russian film was able to crack the top 10. The animated film Serafima's Extraordinary Travel debuted in sixth place with a take of 29 million rubles ($429,000).

Meanwhile, overall attendance figures in August and the entire summer were disappointing.

Ruble ticket receipts fell by over a third (35 percent) with attendance down 32 percent during the month compared to last year. Figures for the entire summer period are slightly better, with receipts down 3.5 percent and attendance down 4.8 percent, according to business daily Kommersant. But overall the Russian box office is struggling in the face of falling incomes as a recession exacerbated by sanctions and the conflict in Ukraine worsens.

"Russian producers prefer to hold back their films to the autumn," the newspaper noted.

Overall box-office receipts for the three months June-August for Russia and the CIS countries excluding Ukraine totaled 11.7 billion rubles, around $195 million. Russia's annual box office has been relatively stable in recent years at around $1 billion a year despite currency fluctuations.