‘Stalingrad’ Premieres Big in U.S.
Film opens on 308 IMAX screens across the country.
Published: March 6, 2014 (Issue # 1800)
HOLLYWOOD — The much-anticipated unveiling of “Stalingrad” captured the movie-going public’s attention in the U.S. as Sony Entertainment released the Russian war epic on 308 IMAX screens throughout the country last weekend.
From movie houses in suburbia to the historic Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, theaters across the country were filled with foreign film buffs. The 308-screen opening represented a sea change on a market where foreign films are typically relegated to a small number of art houses. “It’s one for the record books,” said one cinema exhibitor.
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Filmed at a cost of $30 million, with St. Petersburg providing the locale for key battle sequences, “Stalingrad” has already grossed more than $120 million with key openings across major movie markets around the world yet to come in the near future.
The hefty IMAX admission price of $19.50 per person in the U.S. is expected to contribute to the film’s takings in a big way.
Sony is spending big bucks to promote the movie. The booking of a foreign film at the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles is, in and of itself, a rare accomplishment in the industry-driven town.
A Sony marketing executive told The St. Petersburg Times that the studio has high hopes that Fyodor Bondarchuk’s film will set a precedent for foreign films to achieve mass release across the country.
The $30 million film represents the first fully 3D Russian movie and the first non-American movie shot for IMAX 3D.
Related: ‘Stalingrad’ Hits Big for Glavkino
The Battle of Stalingrad lasted for months and the Russian victory in 1943 led the way for the Allied victory in World War II.