About a year ago, I blogged about the exciting trailer for the upcoming release, Night Watch. This Russian film – the first of a trilogy – had the exciting makings of an instant cult classic, and it was a massive success in its native country. It played a handful of U.S. festivals, with a summer release date advertised, and then… nothing. It never opened. Until now.
Fox Searchlight will release the film in select cities on February 17. And, Ross Johnson offers up a nice piece for The New York Times, chatting with the triolgy’s helmer Timur Bekmambetov. An excerpt from the full article:
Based on a trilogy of books by the Russian fantasy author Sergei Lukyanenko, “Night Watch” opened in July 2004 in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (including Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus), an area that has only about 1,500 movie theaters, compared with more than 37,000 in the United States and Canada. The film, which cost about $3.5 million to make (an extravagant sum for a Russian film), earned $16 million at the Russian box office, breaking the record previously held by “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” which made $14.9 million.
That was just the warm-up. On Jan. 1 of this year, “Day Watch,” which was produced for about $4.5 million, opened in Russia and obliterated every local box-office record when it made $29.7 million in its first 29 days of release. (By comparison, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” has brought in $7.7 million in Russia since it was released, two weeks before “Day Watch.”)