Apparently the Russians are more in the Dreamworks camp than the Pixar one. The LA Times is reporting that while Shrek Forever did $37.7 million in it’s first 10 days, Pixar’s Toy Story 3 has grossed a paltry $4.8 million.
Compare that to $34 million in Mexico and it seems like the Russians may just not care for Buzz Lightyear. Several theories abound, including the possibility that Russian children are escaping the heat in the countryside and can’t visit a theater. One other possibility is that the original two films predate the Russian movie boom and audiences may not have a connection to the brand. From the article:
“People here didn’t grow up seeing the first two movies, so they think a film about toys is just for young children,” said Paul Heth, chief executive of Russian theater chain Kinescope. “Everyone in the market here is a bit shocked at what the film has done, given its quality.”
While all of these theories are plausible, Pixar has apparently never been a hit-maker in Russia. “Up” and “WALL-E” both grossed around $12 million, which still pales in comparison to the last Shrek offering. While critics and fans in the rest of the world may think that they’re missing out, it appears Russia may simply not have a taste for Pixar’s magic.