Just five years ago, a movie goer may arrive at a Russian movie theatre to watch whatever movie was playing at the time. While anything playing in theaters was advertised in advance, the movie playing at a given time was subject to change. Since then, movie showtimes acquired a much stricter and more consistent schedule. Moreover, Internet technology caught up to Russian cinemas. Russian search engine Yandex recently teamed up with Afisha, the top Russian site geared towards films and television programs, to present Russians with the option to search showtimes and pre-purchase tickets online.
As blogged by Yandex (in Russian), users purchase tickets to the cinema for no additional charge by simply editing parameters for the city, theatre, and selected film. Users can then pay for the ticket on their credit card or in-person at the ticket office by presenting an order number that they are sent via text. Currently the service works in 93 Russian cities. Russians can order their movie tickets at home or on Android and iOS supported phones.
This week Russians are watching “Let’s Be Cops,” “Deliver Us from Evil,” and more American films. Last weekend’s box office results from August 21 to 24 have several foreign films pulling in the highest sales in the box office. “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” brought in $3,242,461 at the top of list. While “Teenage Mutan Ninja Turtles” sales dropped, it still produced $2,340,370 in ticket sales. In third place, Disney’s “Planes Fire and Rescue” earned $2,120,978 proving both adults and children appreciate Hollywood hits.
On the Yandex movie ticket service, users can also stay up to speed on the movies that are set to premiere in the coming weeks. For instance, Russians can look forward to the premiere of “A Most Wanted Man” next Wednesday. On a Yandex supported page, the users can watch the trailer, set a reminder, share the link on social media, and read more information. While premiering at different times worldwide, American and foreign films have gained significant popularity among Russians.