When the trailers for Fedor Bondarchuk's Stalingrad
arrived earlier this year, we sat up and took notice. While Fedor had shown in the past to be a very accomplished director, the massive scale and visual richness of what was shown impressed. No doubt there were plenty of spectacular pictures here, especially when seen in the intended format, which happens to be 3D IMAX.
Pretty pictures or not, the real siege and battles of Stalingrad are still considered to be a sore point in Russian history, for while the German army was eventually repelled, the human cost had been absolutely staggering. To try and base a commercially viable monster production on it sure was a risk, but one which seems to have paid off: Stalingrad
has broken all Russian box office records in its opening weekend.
According to Box-office Mojo
, the film has scored an unheard-of average of $60,000 for each IMAX screening. There are not that many IMAX screens in Russia though, and combined with all cheaper screens the tally for the first weekend ended at $14.4 million, which is apparently (quoting Mojo) "the biggest debut ever for a local production there."
Even that amount may not seem much by US standards, but films like these have a tendency to play for a long time locally, and this is good news for the investors. Audience ratings and reviews have been favorable as well.
So while we wait for the film to do a world tour, have a look at that trailer!
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