The first Russian blockbuster, Nochnoi Dozor (Night Watch), has been gathering full houses in 325 Russian, Ukrainian and Kazakh cinemas over this week. Its box office takings hit $5.3 million. Even The Matrix and Terminator-3 have never seen such success in Russia.
The first release day made a sensation - the movie collected over 20 million rubles ($700,000). On the second day the sum grew by 10%. About 1.5 million people watched the film during the first week. Formerly Russian films failed to collect $3 million, falling behind the best Hollywood blockbusters. At the moment the Night Watch is surpassed only by "The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King" in Russia. These events mark a revolution in Russian cinematography.
"As a matter of fact, this film is not about vampires and werewolves in Moscow but about people making mistakes and trying to correct them about the co-existence and balance of good and evil," said Night Watch producer Konstantin Ernst, director general of the First Channel.
Many people were intrigued by the PR campaign of the Night Watch, which is to keep gathering full houses during the following weeks. However, this boom was worked up not only by the PR and special effects, which are new to the Russian cinematography. Sergei Lukyanenko's eponymous novel is highly popular with young people. The trilogy includes the novels "Night Watch", "Day Watch" and "Twilight Watch". Filmmakers promise to release Night Watch-2 by the New Year.
The novel "Night Watch" was published in 1998. The first attempt to screen the book was taken four years ago but the screening was postponed for certain reasons. The First Channel bought the screening rights two years ago and, finally, the movie was released.