Andrei Zvyagintsev, director of the Oscar-nominated "Leviathan," said that a businessman bought the huge whale skeleton which plays a major part in the movie and features on the film's poster.
The skeleton, which was built out of metal specially for the film, was "bought by a businessman and placed on the lawn outside of his house," said Zvyagintsev, speaking at the premier Wednesday, news agency TASS reported.
"It stands somewhere in Moscow," he said.
The skeleton often appears on screen in "Leviathan," lying close to the sea and near half-ruined ships. Zvyagintsev did not say how much the businessman paid for the model.
"Leviathan" has been acclaimed all over the world, winning a screenwriting award in Cannes last year and a Golden Globe for best foreign language film earlier this month.
The film has, however, been criticized by Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky as showing a too- negative view of Russia. It will only reach Russian screens on Feb. 5, though many Russians have already seen it.
"In reality the film's premier already took place 10 days ago, when the film was uploaded onto the internet," said Zvyagintsev. "The film has gone right to the heart, where we wanted it to go."
"When we learned that the film was on the internet, Andrei was furious," said Leviathan producer Alexander Rodnyansky, TASS reported. "By the fourth day we understood by the reaction, which polarized society, that the film had its own life separate from its creator."
The film has now been seen by around four million people, Zvyagintsev said.
Despite the leak, the film will be shown on 650 screens in 450 cinemas when it opens in Russia, said Rodnyansky.