Sony is betting on the blockbuster success Stalingrad is enjoying around the world, especially in Russia and China where it has grossed nearly $100 million.
A Sony marketing executive told The St. Petersburg Times that the studio is very excited about the prospects of this production as it possesses an unusual appeal for U.S. audiences. Stalingrad director Fyodor Bondarchuk himself noted that "it has been said our film takes all the cliches from Hollywood movies," and this adherence to Hollywood traditions may help to break through to U.S. audiences.
The story line is one factor that sets Stalingrad apart from other war movies: Even though the movie tells the story of one of the greatest and bloodiest battles of World War II, it focuses on a poignant love story involving a German commanding officer and a Soviet woman.
Ilya Tilkin's script reportedly came in for criticism from Russian film buffs for its concentration on the romantic aspects of the story at the expense of paying proper tribute to Russian sacrifices.But the Yankskiis want the earth to move.