Major Hollywood studios have withdrawn their upcoming movies from release in Russia, including The Batman, Morbius and the new Pixar film, Turning Red.
‘In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film The Batman in Russia,’ a WarnerMedia spokesperson said in a statement. ‘We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.’
Disney, which had planned to release its new Pixar animation Turning Red in Russian cinemas on March 10, was the first to pull its release, citing the ‘unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis’.
‘We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation,’ Disney said in a statement. ‘In the meantime, given the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance.’
Sony Pictures, which had its Jared Leto-starring Marvel movie scheduled for release on March 24, has followed suit.
‘Given the ongoing military action in Ukraine and the resulting uncertainty and humanitarian crisis unfolding in that region, we will be pausing our planned theatrical releases in Russia, including the upcoming release of Morbius,’ a Sony Pictures spokesperson said.
The news follows Netflix’s refusal to add 20 Russian federal television channels, including propaganda stations, to its service in the country.
‘Given the current situation we have no plans to add these channels to our service,’ a Netflix spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter.
According to media analytics company Comscore, Russia accounted for $601million in box office in 2021 – or 2.8 percent of global ticket sales.
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