Released during the New Year holiday, The Irony Of Fate 2 (aka The Irony Of Fate: The Sequel) has become the highest-grossing film (nearly $50m) in the CIS. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Day Watch, Wanted) and starring Night Watch/Day Watch hero Konstantin Khabensky, the film is a contemporary take on Eldar Ryazanov's comedy of the same name, which has been screened on Russian television every New Year's holiday since its release in 1975. Many Russian critics said the new film paled in comparison to the original and objected to its use of product placement, but it was the strongest non-US performer at the international box office in the period of January 4-6. Twentieth Century Fox CIS released the film on 1,050 prints. It also created a lottery with the prize of a St Petersburg apartment for cinema-goers who purchased tickets before the film's December 21 release, a move that helped sell more than 140,000 tickets before the premiere.
This March, Buena Vista Sony Pictures Releasing, which entered the territory in 2007, became the first distributor in CIS history to release three films in one weekend: There Will Be Blood, Vantage Point and Water Horse: Legend Of The Deep.
Man Of The East (Central Partnership)
Release date: October 16
Oleg Pogodin's action film follows a secret-service agent on a mission to avenge his fallen comrades. Audiences will recognise leads Vladimir Yepifantsev and Sergei Astakhov from recent popular local genre films. Central Partnership expects it to gross $8m-$10m at the box office.
Total Box Office Jan 1-May 25, 2008 - $371.6m (rub8.8bn) 46.3m adms
Number of sites 2008 - 649
Market share of local films 2008 - 26.3%* - *2007 only