The figures are perhaps most significant here in Russia because of the earnings potential they represent -- an estimated 300 million people speak Russian as a first or second language -- and because they signal a great comeback.
After the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, a world-renowned cinema industry that had produced such masterpieces as Eisenstein's "Battleship Potemkin," Tarkovsky's "Solaris" and Sergei Bondarchuk's "War and Peace" with 100% state support suddenly found itself cut off at the knees, without financial resources.
Many of the 2,000-odd state-run theaters across the country fell into sordid disrepair, and some were converted into auto dealerships. Filmgoers, revolted by the condition of most movie houses, turned to television or pirated videos of American films. One of the strongest moviegoing markets in the world -- Russians went to the cinema three times as often as Americans on average -- had evaporated.
American movies predominated at the surviving theaters, averaging nearly 80 releases a year through the late 1990s.
Mosfilm, a grande dame of the filmmaking world, spun into a steep decline, its 98 acres in the heart of Moscow eventually overgrown with weeds and its soundstages vacant.
"There were empty corridors ... inhabited by packs of stray dogs," said Karen Shakhnazarov, director of this year's "The Rider Named Death" and the man who, as director of Mosfilm since 1998, is credited with bringing the state-owned studio back. "It was a totally mystical sight."
Russian "art" films continued to be made. Nikita Mikhalkov's 1994 film, "Burnt by the Sun," won a best foreign film Oscar. But virtually no one in Russia saw them until they came out on video.
The turnaround began in 1995, when Kodak, against all odds, opened a glitzy theater in the heart of the capital, the first truly modern movie house in Russia. It had snack bars, even Dolby stereo. Tickets reached $15 and more, and people lined up to buy them.
Since then, a cinema building boom has continued unabated. New multiplexes have sprouted up in the sprawling shopping malls on Moscow's periphery and in the regions, from Novosibirsk to Nizhny Novgorod.
Today there are 713 screens in 420 cinemas across Russia, and there may be four times that many built in the next two years. Ticket sales have leaped from $18 million in 1999 to $268 million last year.
To be sure, Hollywood has raked in the biggest share of the box office. The Russian market grew from a paltry $10 million in 1999 for U.S. filmmakers to more than $215 million last year. Since 2003, Russia has been one of the top 15 markets in the world for American films.
Television drama is making a comeback as well. Last year, 3,000 hours were produced. In fact, "Night Watch" and "Turkish Gambit" were originally made as TV miniseries by powerful, state-owned First Channel, then transferred to the big screen when the cinema boom hit.
The sound production for "Night Watch" was done in Los Angeles, but the bulk of postproduction and special effects on that and "Turkish Gambit" was completed in modernized facilities at Mosfilm, which has enjoyed a renaissance of its own.
"When I became the director of the studio, we were 20 or 30 years behind the rest of the world in terms of technology and equipment. But there was nowhere to take money from," Shakhnazarov said. "No one was lining up to give us a bank loan. No one even believed that restoration of Mosfilm was a viable task."
The studio head turned to the one asset he had, the amazing library of Russian classics gathering dust. Many of them, especially old comedies, still had earnings potential on TV.
"All the money we were getting from selling these movies to television we would invest in renovation of the fleet. We were buying cameras, lights -- we didn't have anything. We tried to purchase top-of-the-line, and implement only the breakthrough and innovative technology in our work," he said.
"Gradually, step by step, we started seeing new movies getting made at the film studios."
Today, Mosfilm is turning a profit. Russian film managers hope to lure American crews to Moscow and organize Russian-American coproductions.
Shooting is underway on the first full coproduction, Roland Joffe's "Captivity." The psychological thriller is being filmed on a Mosfilm soundstage with an American cast and a Russian production company, Ramco, which has partnered with producer Mark Damon's Foresight Unlimited.
"The barrier for attracting important American and international production to Russia had been a formidable one," Damon said. "I realized that in order to break this down, we would have to come to Russia with a very strong director, a strong project, a strong cast, and once they saw that a film of this level, this kind of talent, was shooting in Russia, all the barriers would come down.
"And in fact, they have. I have received so many proposals from all over Hollywood: 'Are you interested in shooting in Russia?' "