"Mavka. The Forest Song"
The Ukrainian animated feature film "Mavka. The Forest Song" by Animagrad studio (FILM.UA Group) has become one of the most successful indie releases of the year. The film was shown on big screens in 148 countries (the release is still ongoing, with recent launches in Norway, Turkey, across Latin America, and Slovenia), and the total worldwide box-office have reached over $20 million. The movie was dubbed into 32 languages and the IP has grown into a vast Universe Of Mavka with a wide range of licensing and consumer product deals.
At Cartoon Business 2023, Iryna Kostyuk, the film's producer, and Tetiana Ruban, CEO of the Nerd licensing agency (part of the FILM.UA. Group), spoke about some new plans for the development of the Mavka Universe: in addition to creating an animated series in collaboration with the French animation studio TeamTo, they are planning to create an animated sequel and a live action feature film for the 12+ audience, depicting the origin of the mythological character — which is filled with mysticism and is quite dark originally.
MAVKA’s share of the total national box office in the first 10 months of 2023 stands at 9%, while its share of the box office among all Ukrainian releases in 2023 (10 months) is 51%. MAVKA is a #3 highest grossing release in Ukrainian box office ever and the animated film has been in theaters for 39 weeks and has already been released on a digital platform.
One of the key promotional activities for the Mavka Universe in Ukraine was a sweeping licensing campaign, in which the team at the Nerd licensing agency, led by its CEO Tetiana Ruban, got dozens of national brands on board. Some collaborations were implemented in the production and post-production stages, enabling the Mavka brand to be in the spotlight for a long time. Now, the Mavka Universe involves more than 30 collaborations, with 350+ SKU in different categories: jewelry, snacks, beauty, clothes, toys, publishing, accessories, home decorations, supplies for children's study and creativity, and more. Before and during its release, Mavka was everywhere: in stores, on billboards and storefronts, in coffee shops and retail space displays, and in shows and entertainment programs (including the dancing MAVKA STAGE SHOW, which toured 20 cities in Ukraine, Mavka’s offline themed Residence in Kyiv, and so on).
Internationally, MAVKA has garnered stellar reviews and impressive box office performances becoming one of the biggest indie films of 2023. In France, it claimed the #1 spot among the week's newcomers, ranked as the #2 start of the year, and is among the top 5 highest-grossing movies of the premier week. In Italy, it stands as the fifth highest-grossing animated film of 2023, spending five weeks in the top 3. Portugal witnessed MAVKA's exceptional release, securing the #1 Best Independent Animated Opening of 2023 and the #2 Best Animated Opening of 2023.