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Warner Bros., Disney, and Sony Delay Major Releases in Russia After Ukraine Invasion

Major movie studios have begun pulling major releases from cinemas in Russia over the country’s invasion of neighbouring state Ukraine. 

Warner Bros. is pausing its release of The Batman which was supposed to be released in Russia on the 5th of March. A spokesperson from the studio has said it is pausing the release of The Batman “In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine” and “will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.” 

Similarly, Disney has released a statement condemning the invasion describing it as “unprovoked” and a “tragic humanitarian crisis.” Accordingly, they have paused the release of films in Russia including Turning Red from Pixar. Disney also says it will be working with its NGO partners to provide relief to refugees of the situation. 

Sony Pictures announced it will also postpone releases in Russia including its Marvel movie Mobius alongside Paramount Pictures which will delay The Lost City and Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Last of the major movie studios to follow suit is Universal Studios. Although it is unannounced which releases it will be pulling it could include Belfast, The Bad Guys, Ambulance, and Jurassic World Dominion

The halt of these releases comes after the Ukrainian Film Academy created a petition calling for an international boycott of Russian cinema and film industry at large after the invasion. Clearly the film industry is listening. 

Delay of theatrical releases is also in line with the economic sanctions from many major powers in Europe and the United States. 

While Russia isn’t the biggest market for Hollywood revenue it makes up for about 2.8% of worldwide ticket sales and has a big market for films such as The Batman which will need to rely on other regions to make up its budget of $200 million. 

Hollywood will continue its refrain from the Russian market for the foreseeable future in what is a small positive step in this dire and unnecessary crisis.

Image via Pixabay