St. Petersburg-based Melnitsa Animation tells us its newest animated feature, Alosha, has become the highest grossing Russian animated film of all time. Since its premiere in late December, the epic comedy has earned roughly $1.65 million dollars at the box office and is now the 9th highest-grossing Russian movie of all time.
Alosha centers on legendary Russian hero Alosha Popovich and his epic journey to retrieve his city’s gold and do away with a treacherous warlord named Tugarin. The comic tale is the feature film debut of renowned animator Konstantin Bronzit, who won Annecy Grand Prix awards for his short films Switchcraft and Die Hard.
Melnitsa has also created a book and a computer game based on Alosha and plans to produce two more animated films about Russian folk heroes. Nikitich, is scheduled to be released in December of 2005, with Ilya following in December of 2006.
Little Longnose, Melnitsa’s first animated feature, was one of the first feature-length animated films produced in Russia in nearly 40 years. A critical and commercial success in in its home country, the pic was picked up for distribution by Warner Bros., GmbH for distribution in Germany. The film has also been sold to France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Taiwan, and Iran. Melnitsa hopes to have similar, if not greater, success with Alosha as it preps the film for the international market.
For more information about Melnitsa Animation, go to www.melnitsa.com.