The online advertising industry in Russia isn’t doing too bad. In October 2008, Sfnblog noted that online marketing communications in Russia have experienced a surge in financial backing since the beginning of this year. Total marketing numbers for 2008 would average between $1.04 billion and $1.48 billion, said market analysis firm Tagline at the annual Russian Internet Week. They based their findings on a study of 600 companies.

But the country’s box office is doing even better. It reached $830 million in 2008, up 47 percent on 2007. If you take that in account, the following news isn’t as weird as it seems.

Mail.ru has become a major investor in production of horror and adventure movie “Viy” in exchange for movie box office returns, reported business newspaper Kommersant (via Quintura). Last summer, the Internet portal pumped $5 million in the movie, what makes up for some 25 percent of Viy’s budget. Here’s the result:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUDyC0z107Y]

The mystery movie is based on the book of Nikolay Gogol and hits cinemas in the fourth quarter of 2009.