“Servant” (“Kholop”) movie has become the highest grossing Russian film ever.
The “Servant” comedy is ahead of the “Going Vertical” sports drama and the highest grossing domestic film ever. The film raised almost 3 billion roubles in cinemas - 20 times more money than was spent on its creation.
“Servant” directed by Klim Shipenko became the highest grossing Russian film ever, according to the the data of the Unified Information System on Movie Shows. Previously, the record holder was the “Going Vertical” sports drama. It collected several hundred thousand roubles less. Back in January, “Servant” became the third of the Russian films to collect 2 billion roubles at the box office. The comedy with Milos Bikovich in the lead role was released on December 26 and, according to the “Film Distributor’s Bulletin”, immediately collected 37% of the box office. The mark of 2 billion roubles also surpassed such movies as “Going Vertical” and “T-34” military film.
“Servant” was shot by Yellow, Black & White Studios together with Gazprom-Media Holding; whereas the media partner of the movie was “Russia 1” channel. The budget of the picture amounted to 200 million roubles. The members of the shooting team of “Servant” and experts interviewed by Forbes highlight several reasons for the record collection amount of the comedy.
First of all, it was presented during a successful vacation period. “The picture was released at a very convenient time, when people want to go to the cinema and choose the most suitable film for themselves from those available at the box office. Of course, “Servant” would be successful in any other month. But it certainly wouldn’t have collected such astronomical sums of money”, as the film critic Anton Dolin believes.
An abnormally warm January in Moscow and St. Petersburg also played its part, as Oleg Berezin, the General Director of the NevaFilm studio said: “The people could not leave the city and went to have rest in shopping and entertainment centres. What else to do when you have so many days off?” The director of “Servant” agrees with this statement.
“During such snowless weather, the audience wants to come and dive into the summer atmosphere”, Shipenko explains. Experts are unanimous that one more competitive advantage of “Servant” is its comedy genre that was successfully chosen for the holiday period.
“Servant” is a good, coherent, smart, easy movie, complying with its genre. It competed with Bondarchuk’s heavy apocalyptic sci-fi film and an even heavier historical film about the Decembrists of the Channel No.1”, as Dolins describes the situation with the box office. According to him, the audience “has gotten used to watch romantic movies on the New Year’s holidays since Soviet times and is more inclined to watching entertaining movies than something heavy”.
The producers of the “Union of Salvation” movie also say that the “Servant” is an easy-going movie that perfectly coincided with the festive mood and, as a result, received a positive “mouth marketing” during its first days. “The fact that they collected 3 billion, of course, makes us happy. The film is successful as an efficient entertainment. Does “Servant” develop cinema? Perhaps, yes, if we speak of the art to make money, but not in developing art as such”, Ernst and Maksimov added.
The theme of “Servant” also appealed to the audience. “The Russians are happy to see a nobleman who turns into a servant. But in fact, it resembles the movie “Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession” loved by many people”, according to Ekaterina Kononenko, the producer of another comedy hit, “I Am Losing Weight.” Shlyappo from YBW also stresses the universality of the plot conflict of the “Servant”: “The conditional “prince and pauper” is an eternal theme. Only they look at it through the prism of modernity”.
Author: Anna Dorozhkina