Russian Government Blames Local Films' Poor Box Office Performance on Hollywood Releases

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'Avengers: Age of Ultron' and 'Terminator Genisys' prevented several domestic films from reaching projected gross, says the Russian government, hinting that restrictions for foreign releases could be coming.

The Russian government has complained that major Hollywood releases prevented local films from achieving their projected gross.

"Some [local] releases did not gross as much as they expected to gross," the culture ministry said in a statement, quoted by the Russian news agency TASS, adding that Avengers: Age of Ultron and Terminator Genisys came in the way of local releases Prizrak (Ghost), Voin (Warrier) and Dukhless-2 (Soulless-2).

The statement could be read as a hint that the government might be mulling restrictions on Hollywood and foreign films as measures aimed at boosting local movies’ box office performance have failed so far.

Earlier this year, the culture ministry obtained the power to move dates of Hollywood releases if they clashed with those of major local films. Last month, most Russian theater chains voluntarily agreed to allocate at least 20 percent of all screenings to local films.

However, none of the measures have worked so far. In October, Hollywood and foreign films' attendance hit a five-year high, year-over-year.

Just under 14 million admissions for Hollywood and foreign films were registered last month, and their total gross reached 3.6 billion rubles ($56.2 million), according to the research group Movie Research. 

Last year, the Russian government seriously considered restrictions on Hollywood and foreign movies but had to back down after criticism from local distributors and producers.