Russian Film Tops Weekend Box Office in European Country

Snow Queen - H 2015
Courtesy of Wizart Animation

The animated 'Snow Queen 2' became champion in Slovakia, beating out 'Bridge of Spies' and 'The Good Dinosaur.'

Russian animated film The Snow Queen 2 topped the box office in Slovakia this weekend, becoming the first Russian movie ever to reach the top spot in the weekend box-office rankings of a European country in five years.

The second installment in the Snow Queen franchise grossed $37,266 in Slovakia, according to Box Office Mojo, finishing ahead of local film Vánocní Kamenák, The Little Prince, Bridge of Spies and The Good Dinosaur.

"The gross is small, compared with large territories, such as Great Britain, France or Germany," producer Yury Moskvin tells The Hollywood Reporter, "but in this situation, it was important to create a precedent."

According to Moskvin, Russian pics topping the box office in European countries can only become a regular occurrence if Russian filmmakers offer international viewers stories of broad appeal that aren't too dependent on national specifics.

"[Stories] should be understandable to viewers, regardless of geography or cultural differences," he says. "In this respect, animation projects have better chances as they don't rely on actors who could be stars in Russia but remain totally unknown to European audiences."

The Snow Queen is one of Russia's most successful international franchises, with its two parts sold to 130 countries to date and total international box-office revenue of $30 million.

Back in 2010, the Russian animated film Space Dogs 3D topped the weekend box-office in Poland.

No Russian live-action film has ever topped the weekend box office in a European country, with second place being the highest achievement for movies like Timur Bekmambetov's 2005 international hit Night Watch.