'Stalingrad' Becomes Russia's All-Time Box Office Champion

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Fyodor Bondarchuk

The World War II movie grossed $66.1 million in its six-week theater run.

MOSCOW -- Fyodor Bondarchuk’s Stalingrad has become Russia’s highest-grossing movie of all time.

The World War II drama has outperformed the previous all-time box-office champion, Ironiya Sudby. Prodolzheniye (The Irony of Fate. Sequel), released in late 2007 by Timur Bekmambetov’s Bazelevs.

The $30-million Stalingrad grossed $66.1 million (1.69 billion rubles), according to the Russian movie database KinoPoisk, compared with the box office gross of $49.9 million (1.64 billion rubles) for The Irony of Fate, a sequel to a popular 1970s New Year’s-themed melodrama.

“A number of factors contributed to the film’s box office success,” producer Dmitry Rudovsky told The Hollywood Reporter. “Factor number one is its director, Fyodor Bondarchuk.”

“Also, we have found a new approach to a war movie,” he went on to say. “We were able to show war in a spectacular way, keeping in mind film theater audiences. There hasn’t been a movie like that in Russia.”

Stalingrad opened Oct. 10 in regular and Imax theaters, with the latter accounting for 13 percent of its box-office gross, and its theater run lasted for six weeks. The movie also became Russia’s entry in the Oscar race in the best foreign language film category.