EXCLUSIVE: Sputnik, the sci-fi thriller that would have been a Tribeca premiere were it not for the fest’s cancellation, has launched online in its native Russia ahead of its U.S. bow and is recording stellar viewership.
More than one million people have streamed the title since its release on April 23 across its three SVOD homes, according to its producers. The film is playing on More.tv, Wink and Ivi, which are a mixture of subscription services and TVOD and are three of Russia’s biggest platforms. That makes it the top-performing title across those services for the past two years, surpassing all Hollywood and local releases.
The project is directed by first time helmer Egor Abramenko and is produced by Fedor Bondarchuk’s Moscow-based Art Pictures Studio with Vodorod production, Hype film, NMG Studio, and STS. IFC Midnight secured North American rights to the pic back in April and will release stateside August 14.
Bondarchuk stars in the movie alongside Oksana Akinshina, Pyotr Fyodorov and Anton Vasilev. Inspired by Abramenko’s short film The Passenger, the plot takes place at the height of the Cold War when a Soviet spacecraft crash lands after a mission gone awry, leaving the commander as its only survivor. After a renowned Russian psychologist is brought in to evaluate the commander’s mental state, it becomes clear that something dangerous may have come back to Earth with him.
Sony Pictures was initially set to release the film theatrically in Russia but the coronavirus lockdown meant it pivoted to online.