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Russian cinema sets box office record chalking up nearly $145 mln in 2016

Russian filmmaking "has stepped outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg"

MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. In 2016, Russia’s movie industry raked in roughly 8.6 bln rubles (roughly $144.5 mln) setting a new record, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said at a TASS press conference dedicated to the outcome of the Year of Russian Cinema.

"Last year, Russian movies’ share in the theatrical distribution hit 18.5%, which is a significant rise," the minister noted. "However, the main thing is that the total box office revenue increased to 8.6 bln rubles which is a record high for Russia’s new cinema, not seen since the 1990s." According to Medinsky, compared with the previous year, box office revenues grew by more than one billion rubles (roughly $16.8 mln). "This is a real breakthrough," the culture minister added.

At the same time, in Medinsky’s words, filmmaking "has stepped outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg." Now, movies are made in 25 regions of Russia. Besides that, in two regions, moviemakers have a chance to take advantage of the state-sponsored subsidies to reimburse costs spent on production.

"We hope, other regions will adopt this mechanism, too," the minister resumed. In addition, Russian movies "have strengthened their position on the Chinese market", the number of Russian movies released internationally has grown.

Medinsky pointed out that during the Year of the Russian Cinema, a program aimed at promoting movies in small towns had been actively instituted. "Nearly 1,000 new cinemas will be set up in Russia by the end of 2018," the minister pledged.