After making records in its home territory, Russian pic Stalingrad is off to a strong start in China. The Sony Pictures Releasing International WWII drama went out in China on Thursday last week on 7,136 screens, including 123 in IMAX 3D, and took $8.3M over four days. This makes it the highest-grossing Russian release in the territory. It’s also the best-ever start for a non-Chinese and non-American film there. In its home space of Russia it added another $2.6M, bringing its cume to $47.7M. The film, which is Russia’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, is an epic love story set during the devastating battle for Stalingrad that lasted more than six months and ended with the German army surrendering in 1943. Along with all the attention being paid to China, Russia is also an increasingly important market where box office has grown. Whether the numbers will help Stalingrad‘s Oscar chances remains to be seen. Russia’s last nominee in the Best Foreign Language catrgory was 2007′s 12 by Nikita Mikhalkov. Here’s a trailer for Stalingrad:

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