Nevafilm Research predicts that by the end of 2016, Russia can expect to have 4,500 commercial cinema screens, almost 300 of which will opened thanks to subsidies from the Cinema Fund granted to cinemas in small towns. Total growth in the number of cinema screens this year will reach around 12%. Compared to 5.4% growth in 2015, that will be an undeniable breakthrough.
Admissions fell by 1.1% in Russia in 2015, but that figure promises to improve in 2016. The total number of tickets sold is expected to increase from 174 million to 185 million, due to both the expansion of cinema chains and a growing repertoire for distribution, with the latest instalments in successful franchises such as Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Kung Fu Panda 3, Ice Age: Collision Course, and Captain America: Civil War, as well as Russian blockbusters such as Flight Crew, The Duellist, and Viking.
Subsidies for film production in the Year of Russian Cinema will help expand capacity for domestic filmmaking over the coming years, and given that new cinemas operating with Cinema Fund support will be obliged to ensure Russian films make up at least 50% of their schedule, this could lead to an increased share of Russian films in distribution. In 2015, that share fell from 18.7% to 17.3%, with admissions also falling, from 17.9% to 16.1% according to box office receipts. At the same time, the number of domestic productions in distribution grew, from 110 in 2014 to 120 in 2015.