Russian movie production started in the Russian Empire and steadily developed during the Soviet period. Modern Russian cinema has been evolving since the 2010s, seeing an increase in governmental support and popularity of state-sponsored and independent works among audiences. Russian films also significantly increased their presence in cinemas abroad over the past five years. The country had the tenth leading box office revenue globally, amounting to approximately nine hundred million U.S. dollars in 2019. With over 200 million cinema tickets sold per year, Russia was the sixth largest film market in the world.
COVID-19 impact on cinema in Russia
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in a global film industry revenue loss of ten billion U.S. dollars in the first half of 2020. The Russian movie market also experienced a negative impact of the lockdown and physical distancing measures. In late March 2020, the country closed movie theaters and other cultural establishments as a preventive measure against the disease spreading further. Cinemas saw a sharp decline in attendance, while film producers had to suspend their current projects. Considering the COVID-19 impact, the estimate for the Russian cinema revenue in 2020 was lowered from 58 billion Russian rubles forecast prior to the crisis to 34 billion Russian rubles. Moreover, the expected value of investment in film production decreased by 35 percent.
State support for Russian cinemas due to COVID-19
In recent years, the Russian government steadily increased its support for the national film industry, which exceeded nine billion Russian rubles in 2019. Culture, sports, leisure, and entertainment were considered to be among those areas suffering the most from the impact of COVID-19. The sector's value added was forecast to decrease by over 46 percent in 2020. The nationwide ban on the activity of movie theaters due to COVID-19 ended in mid-July 2020. However, the country's regions were to lift restrictions at a different pace depending on individual infection rates. The Russian Ministry of Culture planned to support the industry, focusing on re-opening cinemas, new releases, and a repertoire. The plan outlined includes a short-term assistance program from July to October 2020 and a long-term one from 2020 to 2023.
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In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 38 most important statistics relating to "Film industry in Russia".