Russia has already overtaken its year-end 2020 box office in 2021. According to latest data from our partners at Comscore Movies, the Eastern European major overtook its 2020 total (R 22.73bn) on Saturday July 17 (R22.78bn). This year’s box office is shown on the graph below via the blue dotted line.

It is only the second global market to match its 2020 year-end result so far in 2021, with China having done so exactly three months earlier on April 17.

Russia had a very strong start to the year with the historically strong first play-week of the year delivering the best result of the pandemic era. The December 31 play-week grossed R2.23 billion ($30.0m), with the whole week hitting Stage 5 on Gower Street’s Blueprint To Recovery – a box office week equivalent to a top quartile week of the two pre-pandemic years (2018-2019).

It repeated the feat the following week, with both weeks fueled by local fantasy comedy THE LAST WARRIOR: ROOT OF EVIL. The sequel would go on has already surpassed the lifetime of the first part and is now the 4th highest grossing local title of all-time (and 13th among all titles) with R 2.1 billion ($28.5m) from 7.4 million admissions. Russia would see further Stage 5 performing weeks in February and early March but it has fallen back since.

Recent weeks, hampered by a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, have seen levels fall below Stage 3 (equivalent to the lowest grossing week of 2018-2019) for the first time this year. Despite a return to Stage 3 levels for the July 8 play-week, thanks to the launch of BLACK WIDOW, this past weekend (not shown on the graph below as the play-week is incomplete) saw business fall back again to record the second lowest-grossing weekend of 2021.

Tracking for 30 global markets can be followed weekly in Gower Street’s Road To Recovery reports, available via subscription here.