List of highest-grossing films in the Soviet Union

This is the list of highest-grossing films in the Soviet Union, in terms of box office admissions (ticket sales). It includes the highest-grossing films in the Soviet Union (USSR), the highest-grossing domestic Soviet films,[1] the domestic films with the greatest number of ticket sales by year,[2] and the highest-grossing foreign films in the Soviet Union.[3] Note that, in line with the definition above, this list does not include any Soviet television series or television movies, which were not shown in cinemas of the Soviet Union.

The annual list includes sales during each year only, which often means that the total number of tickets sold was bigger. As an example, according to the list below the film The Red Snowball Tree, the top seller of the year 1974, sold 62.5 million tickets during that year. But the total number of sold tickets during all years was bigger (former deputy director of the USSR GosKino Boris Pavlenok named 140 million, however, it was clearly exaggeration)[4]. This figure is comparable to some of the United States' all-time highest ticket sellers, such as The Sound of Music, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Titanic, in fact exceeding the latter's estimated ticket sales of 135.5 million.[5]

In the mid-1960s, the Soviet Union sold 4 billion tickets and grossed 1 billion руб annually.[6] At the 1960s exchange rate of 0.9 руб per US dollar,[7] this was $1.11 billion (equivalent to $9 billion adjusted for inflation). Soviet ticket prices were generally lower than American ticket prices, due to lower living costs in the Soviet Union,[8] with average ticket prices ranging from 25 kopecks in the mid-1960s[6] to 50 kopecks in the early 1980s.[8]

Both domestic Soviet films and foreign films were shown, the latter having a limited quota and thus drawing higher average ticket sales than domestic productions.[9][6] Indian films had the strongest presence in the foreign blockbuster charts for four decades, followed by American films.[10][9] Foreign imports included 300 Indian films[11] (most of which were Bollywood films), 41 American films (Hollywood), and 38 French films.[9][6]

Highest-grossing filmsEdit

Year Russian title English title Country Tickets sold (millions) Ref
1975 Есения Yesenia   Mexico 91.4 [3]
1980 Пираты XX века Pirates of the 20th Century   Soviet Union 87.6 [1]
1980 Москва слезам не верит Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears   Soviet Union 84.4 [1]
1969 Бриллиантовая рука The Diamond Arm   Soviet Union 76.7 [1]
1967 Кавказская пленница Kidnapping, Caucasian Style   Soviet Union 76.54 [1]
1972 Моё имя Клоун Mera Naam Joker   India 73.1 [12]
1980 Экипаж Air Crew   Soviet Union 71.1 [1]

Highest-grossing domestic filmsEdit

Year Russian title English title Tickets sold (millions) Ref
1980 Пираты XX века Pirates of the 20th Century 87.6 [1]
1980 Москва слезам не верит Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears 84.4 [1]
1969 Бриллиантовая рука The Diamond Arm 76.7 [1]
1967 Кавказская пленница Kidnapping, Caucasian Style 76.54 [1]
1980 Экипаж Air Crew 71.1 [1]
1965 Операция „Ы“ и другие приключения Шурика Operation Y and Shurik's Other Adventures 69.6 [1]
1968 Щит и меч The Shield and the Sword 68.3 [1]
1968 Новые приключения Неуловимых The New Adventures of the Elusive Avengers 66.2 [1]
1974 Калина красная The Red Snowball Tree 62.5 [1]

Highest-grossing domestic films by yearEdit

Year Russian title English title Tickets sold (millions)[1][2] IMDb entry
1940 Истребители The Fighters 27.1 [1]
1944 В шесть часов вечера после войны Six O'Clock in the Evening After the War 26.1 [2]
1945 Без вины виноватые Guilty Without Guilt 28.91 [3]
1946 Каменный цветок The Stone Flower 23.17 [4]
1947 Подвиг разведчика Secret Agent 22.73 [5]
1948 Молодая гвардия The Young Guard 42.4 [6]
1949 Встреча на Эльбе Encounter at the Elbe 24.2 [7]
1950 Смелые люди Brave People 41.2 [8]
1951 В мирные дни In Peaceful Time 23.5 [9]
1952 Незабываемый год 1919 The Unforgettable Year 1919 31.6 [10]
1953 Любовь Яровая Lyubov Yarovaya 46.4 [11]
1954 Судьба Марины Marina's Destiny 37.9 [12]
1955 Солдат Иван Бровкин Private Ivan 40.37 [13]
1956 Карнавальная ночь Carnival Night 48.64 [14]
1957 Сёстры The Sisters 42.5 [15]
1958 Над Тиссой Over Tissa 45.74 [16]
1959 Ч. П.-Чрезвычайное Происшествие E. A. — Extraordinary Accident 47.5 [17]
1960 Вдали от Родины Far from the Motherland 42.0 [18]
1961 Полосатый рейс Striped Trip 32.34 [19]
1962 Человек-амфибия The Amphibian Man 65.5 [20]
1963 Оптимистическая трагедия Optimistic Tragedy 46.0 [21]
1964 Живые и мёртвые The Alive and the Dead 41.5 [22]
1965 Операция „Ы“ и другие приключения Шурика Operation Y and Shurik's Other Adventures 69.6 [23]
1966 По тонкому льду On Thin Ice 42.5 [24]
1967 Кавказская пленница, или Новые приключения Шурика Kidnapping, Caucasian Style 76.54 [25]
1968 Щит и меч The Shield and the Sword 68.3 [26]
1969 Бриллиантовая рука The Diamond Arm 76.7 [27]
1970 Неподсуден Not Under the Jurisdiction 43.3 [28]
1971 Офицеры Officers 53.4 [29]
1972 Джентльмены удачи Gentlemen of Fortune 65.02 [30]
1973 Всадник без головы The Headless Horseman 64.9 [31]
1974 Калина красная The Red Snowball Tree 62.5 [32]
1976 Табор уходит в небо Gypsies Are Found Near Heaven 64.9 [33]
1977 Несовершеннолетние The Age of Innocence 44.6 [34]
1978 Служебный роман Office Romance 58.4 [35]
1979 Женщина, которая поёт The Woman who Sings 54.9 [36]
1980 Пираты ХХ века Pirates of the 20th Century 87.6 [37]
1981 Тегеран-43 Teheran 43 47.5 [38]
1982 Спортлото-82 Sportloto-82 55.2 [39]
1983 Вокзал для двоих Station for Two 35.8 [40]
1984 Любовь и голуби Love and Pigeons 44.5 [41]
1985 Самая обаятельная и привлекательная The Most Charming and Attractive 44.9 [42]
1986 Двойной капкан Double Trap 42.9 [43]
1987 Человек с бульвара Капуцинов A Man from the Boulevard des Capucines 39.8 [44]
1988 Маленькая Вера Little Vera 54.9 [45]
1989 Интердевочка Intergirl 41.3 [46]

Highest-grossing foreign filmsEdit

This is a list of foreign films that sold the most tickets at the Soviet box office.[3] Among the foreign films that sold more than 20 million tickets in the Soviet Union, 50 were Indian films (Bollywood),[13][14] the highest from any nation,[9] followed by 41 American films (Hollywood) and 38 French films.[9] The Indian film Awaara, for example, drew a total of about 100 million box office admissions in the Soviet Union.[15]

Year English title Russian title Country Original
release
Tickets sold
(millions)[3]
IMDb
entry
Gross[n 1]
(million руб)
Gross
(million US$)
Adjusted gross
(million US$)
1954 Awaara Бродяга   India 1951 100[n 2] [47] 37.75[n 6] 16.97[n 6] 143[n 6]
1975 Yesenia Есения   Mexico 1971 91.4 [48] 22.85 31.3[n 7] 149
1972 Mera Naam Joker Моё имя Клоун   India 1970 73.1[n 8] [49] 18.28 22.13[7] 135
1961 The Magnificent Seven Великолепная семёрка   United States 1960 67 [50] 16.75 18.61[n 9] 159
1974 Mackenna's Gold Золото Маккенны   United States 1969 63 [51] 15.75 20.9[n 10] 108
1967 Spartacus Спартак   United States 1960 63 [52] 15.75 17.5[n 9] 134
1975 Bobby Бобби   India 1973 62.6 [53] 15.65 21.44[n 7] 102
1976 The White Dress Белое платье   Egypt 1973 61 [54] 15.25 20.12[n 11] 90
1984 Disco Dancer Танцор диско   India 1982 60.9 [55] 60[18] 75.85[n 12] 187
1978 Barood Мститель   India 1976 60 [56] 15 21.25[n 13] 83
1979 Sholay Месть и закон   India 1975 60[n 14] [57] 15 23.29[n 15] 72
1978 The Four Charlots Musketeers Четыре мушкетёра Шарло   France 1974 56.6 [58] 14.15 20.04[n 13] 79

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Estimates based on number of tickets sold at average ticket price of 25 kopecks,[16] unless otherwise noted.
  2. ^ 100 million admissions in total including re-runs,[15] 63.7 million admissions during initial run[3]
  3. ^ 4 Soviet rubles per US dollar from 1950 to 1960[7]
  4. ^ 35 million re-run admissions up until 1964-1966,[15] average Soviet ticket price of 25 kopecks in the mid-1960s[16]
  5. ^ 0.9 руб per US$ from 1961 to 1971[7]
  6. ^ a b c Awaara in the Soviet Union:
    • Initial run – 29 million руб[17] ($7.25 million)[n 3] in 1954 ($69 million adjusted for inflation)
    • Re-runs – 8.75 million руб[n 4] ($9.72 million)[n 5] ($77 million adjusted for inflation)
  7. ^ a b 0.73 rubles per dollar in 1975[7]
  8. ^ The film was released in three parts. The first part drew 29 million admissions, the second part 22.6 million admissions, and the final part 21.5 million admissions.[12]
  9. ^ a b 0.9 rubles per dollar from 1961 to 1971[7]
  10. ^ 0.7536 rubles per dollar in 1974[7]
  11. ^ 0.758 rubles per dollar in 1976[7]
  12. ^ 0.791 rubles per dollar in 1984[7]
  13. ^ a b 0.706 rubles per dollar in 1978[7]
  14. ^ 60 million admissions in total including re-runs,[19] 48.4 million admissions during initial run[20]
  15. ^ 64.4 rubles per $100 in 1979[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Sergey Kudryavtsev (4 July 2006). "Отечественные фильмы в советском кинопрокате". LiveJournal (in Russian). Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Prokat2". Kinokultura.com. Archived from the original on 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  3. ^ a b c d e Sergey Kudryavtsev (4 July 2006). "Зарубежные фильмы в советском кинопрокате". LiveJournal (in Russian). Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Interview with Boris Pavlenok, deputy director of the USSR GosKino". Kommersant.ru. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  5. ^ "All Time Box Office > Domestic Grosses: Adjusted for Ticket Price Inflation". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 15, 2018. * Adjusted to the estimated number of tickets sold. Inflation-adjustment is mostly done by multiplying estimated admissions by the latest average ticket price. Where admissions are unavailable, adjustment is based on the average ticket price for when each film was released (taking into account re-releases where applicable).
  6. ^ a b c d The Routledge Handbook of the Cold War, page 357, Routledge, 2014
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Archive". Central Bank of Russia. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
  8. ^ a b Soviet Military Review. Krasnaya Zveda Publishing House. 1982. p. 7.
  9. ^ a b c d e Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built the Media Empire that had Lost the Cultural Cold War, page 44, Cornell University Press, 2011
  10. ^ Indian Films in Soviet Cinemas: The Culture of Movie-going After Stalin, page 75, Indiana University Press, 2005
  11. ^ "With love from India to Russia". Russia Beyond. 22 October 2009.
  12. ^ a b "Мое имя Клоун (Mera Naam Joker, 1970)". KinoPoisk (in Russian). Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  13. ^ A Taste for Indian Films: Negotiating Cultural Boundaries in Post-Stalinist Soviet Society, page 312, Indiana University
  14. ^ Sergey Kudryavtsev (3 August 2008). "Зарубежные популярные фильмы в советском кинопрокате (Индия)" (in Russian). Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  15. ^ a b c "You Asked It - Padmaavat Is Bigger Than Mughal E Azam?". Box Office India. 8 March 2018.
  16. ^ a b Moscow Prime Time: How the Soviet Union Built the Media Empire that Lost the Cultural Cold War, page 48, Cornell University Press, 2011
  17. ^ Rajagopalan, Sudha (2005). Indian Films in Soviet Cinemas: The Culture of Movie-going After Stalin. Indiana University Press. p. 86. ISBN 9780253220998. The purchase of Shree 420 (Mr 420/Gospodin 420) followed a letter from a Soveksportfil'm representative in Bombay to officials in Moscow in which the former wrote: We are in a delicate situation with Raj Kapoor. He feels he is not being offered enough for Mr 420 despite the fact that 'The Vagabond' raised 29 million roubles for the Soviet state.
  18. ^ Bollywood returns to Russian screens, Russia Beyond the Headlines, September 2009
  19. ^ "«Месть и закон» (Sholay, 1975)". KinoPoisk (in Russian). Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Афиша Воздух: «Месть и закон»". Afisha. 16 December 2011.

External linksEdit