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Abel to Yzerman

Watching “The Russian Five”

from Julie Hinds of the Detroit Free Press,

"The Russian Five" has drawn rave reviews like the one from the Los Angeles Times that praised it as "a documentary that is moving in ways you won’t see coming."

But the biggest surprise of the documentary about the Detroit Red Wings may be its  innovative, do-it-yourself plan for reaching movie theaters.

So far, "The Russian Five" has made nearly $465,000 at the box office, according to the latest figures from Box Office Mojo. That's roughly the same as art house dramas like "All Is True" with Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh and "The Souvenir" with Tilda Swinton.

The documentary has played in 90 theaters in 19 states, a big achievement for an independent, sports-themed film. During its opening weekend in March 2019, its per-screen average of more than $4,300 ranked in the top 10 of more than 100 titles then in release. Already, its earnings put it at 17th among all hockey-themed movies released since 1977.

To use a hockey metaphor, the reception it's receiving has been a minor miracle on ice.


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Hippy Dave's avatar

Available on iTunes Friday:

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 06/06/19 at 12:10 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

Good movie, but I could have done with less Devellano screen time. I cringed every time he opened his mouth.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 06/06/19 at 12:52 PM ET

The Meal's avatar

After seeking it out on a screen here in Colorado (there were some Avs jerseys in the audience, which made for a fun theater) I convinced my 80-year old pops to go track it down back home.  He thanked me by going back to the theater after its run and having them ship me the promo poster.  It’s a cool two-sided poster, which we’ve framed and put up in our Wings-themed basement.  My Dad’s the best.

After the show I was hitting the head and heard two buddies discussing the movie.  One remarked to the other that he wasn’t much of a sports guy but loved the movie.  Then he asked his bud that as a Red Wings if he knew the stories of the players.  He gave about the same answer I would’ve: Yeah, I knew 95% of everything they showed on screen, but some of the players’ footage and recent interviews were brand new.  Both agreed that it was a great show.

Posted by The Meal from Firestone, CO on 06/06/19 at 01:47 PM ET

mattimeo's avatar

I’m also waiting to see The Goalie movie, about Sawchuk

Posted by mattimeo on 06/06/19 at 05:56 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Scarface has already been released .

Posted by RWBill on 06/06/19 at 08:15 PM ET

mattimeo's avatar

RWBill, lol.      Just found out CBC will be playing the movie Goalie saturday night at 8pm est.

Posted by mattimeo on 06/07/19 at 12:11 AM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com