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Stranger Than Fiction

Russians are flocking to see bootleg copies of 'Barbie'

Published:Thursday | September 28, 2023 | 8:05 AMBANG Bizarre

Film fans who oppose Vladimir Putin's regime are going to cinemas for the secret showings of the hit film, which stars Margot Robbie in the lead role.

Most of the screenings are being billed as showings of a Russian film.

A viewer who attended a busy showing in Moscow said: "Officially, you are not buying a ticket to see Barbie.

"It's impossible to count the takings of the pirate copy of Barbie but, in its first weekend, the film made an estimated £98 million and became the top performer at the Russian box office.

"During the film, a member of staff checks no-one is recording it on their phone - even though the cinema is showing a pirate version."

Hollywood films have not been released in Russia since the war with Ukraine started last year, but cinemas in the nation are showing a digital version that has been smuggled in from Kazakhstan.

Fans have been spotted wearing pink on the streets of Moscow, and restaurant guides in Russia recommend places to eat 'Barbie-style'.

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