Disney, Warner Brothers and Other Studios Just Did This in Russia

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As Russia continues its attack on Ukraine, studio giants are responding.

Hollywood studios Disney, Sony, and Warner Brothers have paused theatrical releases in the country.

The films include “Turning Red,” “The Batman” and “Morbius.”

Paramount Pictures also followed suit this week withholding “The Lost City” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2″ from the Russian market.

The Walt Disney Company was the first major Hollywood studio to take a stand against Russian, announcing on Monday that it would pause all of its debuts.
After Warner Bros. and Sony announced they would not release films in the country.

“We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation,” Disney said. “In the meantime, given the scale of the emerging refugee crises, we are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees.”

Warner Bros. said it was pausing the release of “The Batman,” which was slated for release this week. Sony said it is postponing all of its planned theatrical releases in the region, including the upcoming “Morbius.”

On average, the Russian box office accounts for around 3% of all global ticket sales, according to data from Comscore.

“Russia has, at times, been a very relevant piece of the international box office picture,” stated Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com. “But the humanitarian crisis resulting from current developments is emerging as a clear consideration for Hollywood distributors in such a challenging and tragic geopolitical environment.”

“It’s yet another unprecedented situation for industry leadership to face with no certain road map or blueprint to follow,” he said.

“The Motion Picture Association stands with the international community in upholding the rule of law and condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the Motion Picture Association said in a statement Monday. “On behalf of our member companies, who lead the film, TV and streaming industry, we express our strongest support for Ukraine’s vibrant creative community who, like all people, deserve to live and work peacefully.”

“Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” a Netflix spokesperson told CNBC on Monday. The decision comes as a wave of Russian state-backed news broadcasts spread Russian propaganda justifying the war Moscow started in Ukraine last week.

The National Hockey League, which has more than two dozen Russian-born hockey players, has also suspended agreements with Russian companies and the International Olympic Committee also recommended banning Russian teams from competitions for violating the “Olympic Truce.”

Disclaimer: We have no position in any of the companies mentioned and have not been compensated for this article.