A drama about the controversial final moments of the 1972 Munich Olympics showdown between the United States and USSR basketball teams has scored a new victory for Russia, becoming the highest-grossing domestic film of all time locally. Three Seconds (aka Going Vertical) has grossed 1.889B rubles (about $33M) since its release via Central Partnership on December 28 — check out the trailer below.
In local currency, that puts it over the previous record-holder, The Last Warrior (Posledniy Bogatyr) which The Walt Disney Company Russia handled last year, and 2013’s smash Stalingrad. It’s important to bear in mind this is a local currency record, while it’s notable how much has fluctuated in the past few years. Stalingrad did 1.67B rubles worth of business in 2013, but at the time that was worth $52M.
Three Seconds is continuing strong play (it opened at No. 4 and rose 490% in its second week). It hails from Three T Productions which made 2016’s hit Flight Crew, and director Anton Megerdichev (Yolki 3). Vladimir Mashkov, Ivan Kolesnikov, Andrey Smolyakov, Aleksandra Revenko, Victoria Tolstoganova, Sergey Garmash and James Tratas star while U.S. actor John Savage plays the coach of the American team. Producers and Leonid Vereshchagin, Anton Zlatopolskiy and legendary director Nikita Mikhalkov.
Based on a script by Nikolai Kulikov, the story is set at the 1972 Munich Olympics where the U.S. team lost the basketball championship for the first time in 36 years. The final moments of the final game have become one of the most controversial events in Olympic history. With play tied, the score table horn sounded during a second free throw attempt that put the U.S. ahead by one. But the Soviets claimed they had called for a time out before the basket and confusion ensued. The clock was set back by three seconds twice in a row and the Russians finally prevailed at the very last. The U.S. protested, but a jury decided in the USSR’s favor and Team USA voted unanimously to refuse its silver medals. The Soviet players have been treated as heroes at home.
The film does not yet have a U.S. distributor. Check out the (unsubtitled) trailer below: