2016 was declared the Year of the Russian Cinema. In honour of this event, all federal subsidies to filmmakers were declared irrevocable. In addition, several competitions were held to support the opening of screens in small towns in December 2015, and in June and December 2016. As a result, 437 screens received financing; applications could be submitted for projects located in towns with a population under 100 thousand people (according to the conditions of the first two competitions) and under 500 thousand people (for the third competition). At the same time, the average number of residents in towns which applications were approved by the Fund amounted to 28.2, 17.7 and 31.2 thousand people respectively, i.e., the expansion of conditions in the third competition did not attract projects from large cities.
As of 1 January 2017, there were 4,364 commercial screens at 1,363 sites in Russia; by 1 June 2017, the number of screens had grown by more than a hundred (up to 4,483), and the number of sites exceeded 1,400. In the spring of 2017, Alexander Mamut acquired Cinema Park and then signed an agreement on the purchase of a 75% stake in Formula Kino from A1. In May 2017, the chains merged into one structure with a 14% market share.
The number of new films distributed in Russia is quite stable: in 2016, 384 films were released. Box office receipts in Russia in 2016 amounted to RUB 47.5 billion, while the number of purchased tickets totalled RUB 194.6 million. Thus, in 2016 there was an explosive growth in the domestic film industry: upon three years of stagnation the attendance grew suddenly by 7.4%, and box office receipts increased by 11.6%.
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