News In Brief

Not much love for Woody and Buzz Lightyear in Russia

Christina Huh Jul 2, 2010

The “Shrek” and “Ice Age” movies have big fans in Russia, one of the hottest international film markets, particularly for animated films. But “Toy Story 3,” and many of Pixar films, haven’t had a warm reception from the Russians. In the 10 days since “Toy Story 3” opened, it only grossed $4.8 million. Compare that to $244 million in the U.S. so far (it opened domestically on June 18), and $100 million internationally.

Are Russians into fairy tales come alive and the days when primordial creatures roamed, but not talking toys? From the L.A. Times:

“People here didn’t grow up seeing the first two movies, so they think a film about toys is just for young children,” said Paul Heth, chief executive of Russian theater chain Kinescope. “Everyone in the market here is a bit shocked at what the film has done, given its quality.”

Russian movie experts also suspect the unusually hot summer there is driving children out of urban centers into the cooler countryside. But that doesn’t explain why Pixar’s other films, “Up” and “Wall-E” also got a cool reception from the Russians.

She doesn’t have the answers for the Russian film market, but Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek Smith did a story explaining why sequels have been dominating the box office here. Check it out here.

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