Cinema and TV series

Sputnik became the first major Russian film to be released immediately online due to the coronavirus pandemic

From April 23, the picture will be available by subscription in several online cinemas.

The fantastic thriller Sputnik will be released immediately in online cinemas. The picture was the first major Russian project, the output of which was transferred to streaming services. This was reported to Vedomosti by the producers of the film.

Initially, the picture was supposed to be released on April 16, but instead starts in online cinemas more.tv, Wink and Ivi on April 23. In all services, the picture can be viewed by subscription at no extra charge.

As the producer and one of the actors of the film, Fyodor Bondarchuk, explained, the authors decided to go along the “non-standard path” and hold the premiere online instead of postponing the release date in movie theaters. At the same time, other domestic April paintings were simply transferred so far.

In a conversation with Vedomosti, the director general of the National Media Group (owns more.tv) Olga Paskina said that the release of Sputnik immediately online could bring creators even more money than traditional hire. According to her, the reason for this is the competition between services and the lack of intermediaries.

At a traditional rental, cinemas would have left half of the box office, and the distributor would have taken about 15% more. As for the Internet, online platforms pay a fixed amount for the rights, which does not depend on the number of viewers, and the NMG Studio was engaged in the sale of the film on the Internet on its own, so there is no distributor commission. Finally, the cost of promoting a movie on the Internet will be lower than the cost of attracting viewers to the cinema.

Olga Paskina

Director General of NMG

As Paskina noted, the producers deliberately limited the list of venues for the premiere so that the film remains quite exclusive. She did not disclose the amount of the transaction. One of the producers of the film, Mikhail Vrubel, said that the filmmakers earned about the same amount of money from selling the rights to online cinemas as they did with a “very successful rental in ordinary cinemas.”

Sputnik spoke of a Soviet cosmonaut who encountered an alien life form in space and returned to Earth with an unknown creature. The director of the picture was Yegor Abramenko, who had previously shot only short films, and the main roles were played by Oksana Akinshina, Peter Fedorov and Fedor Bondarchuk. The budget of the film amounted to 190 million rubles.

The Russian picture was not the first film that suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to this, several Hollywood paintings were immediately postponed for a year or for an indefinite period, and those going to the box office released ahead of time on the network.

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