HOLLYWOOD — Despite high expectations, the Russian war epic "Stalingrad" barely grossed more than $1 million at its limited premiere screenings in the U.S.
Following its record-breaking takings in Russia and China, "Stalingrad" arrived in the States under the Sony Entertainment banner. The first 3D Russian production initially showed at 308 IMAX screens.
In key markets, such as Los Angeles, where it opened at the historic Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, early attendance figures were encouraging, a Sony marketing executive told The St. Petersburg Times.
However, the one-week limited showing, coupled with the steep ticket price of $19.50, appear to be key factors limiting box office takings. Shot at a cost of $30 million with St. Petersburg providing the locale for key battle sequences, "Stalingrad" reportedly recouped more than its budget in Russia and China.
Aside from its low box office takings, the Fyodor Bondarchuk-directed film set a precedent for foreign films to be mass-released in the U.S.
"Stalingrad" caught the attention of film buffs as Ilya Tilkin's screenplay interwove a love story with Russian epic battle sequences in the Allied victory during World War II. Major battle scenes were shot at the former Krasny Triugolnik factory in St. Petersburg where huge sets were constructed for the film.
According to a marketing spokesman at Sony, the company will also release the film on Blu-Ray with a retail price of $23, as told to The St. Petersburg Times.
Currently, U.S. box office takings for "Stalingrad" stands at $1,013,945.