Mosfilm, the state-owned giant of Soviet and Russian cinema that produced classic films such as “Battleship Potemkin” and “Solaris”, marks its centenary on Tuesday, and its director general says it is well set up to prosper in the future.
While some Western movies are still shown in Russian cinemas, often long after their theatrical release elsewhere, domestic movies have become increasingly important to box office earnings.
“It’s a gift for us,” Shakhnazarov told newsmen at the sprawling Mosfilm complex on the outskirts of Moscow, referring to the drop in the number of Western films featuring in Russian cinemas.
“It’s understandable that competition is essential for the film industry, but there are times when we need to raise the level of our film making, and now it’s a good time to do that.”
Box office returns in Russia exceeded 40 billion roubles ($450 million) in 2023, according to Tatiana Golikova, a deputy prime minister who is also in charge of the board of trustees of the Cinema Fund.
She was quoted late last year as saying the revenues were close to pre-pandemic levels when Western films were shown more frequently, and that last year Russian movies accounted for 28 billion roubles of the box office total.