Disney, Warner Bros, Sony pausing film releases in Russia over Ukraine crisis
Hollywood studios Disney, Warner Bros and Sony Pictures Entertainment said they would pause theatrical releases of upcoming films in Russia in response to the Ukraine crisis.
The Walt Disney Co said on Monday it is pausing the release of theatrical films in Russia, starting with the upcoming Pixar Animation Studios release, "Turning Red." Within hours, WarnerMedia said it would pause this week's release of "The Batman" in Russia.
"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."
Given the ongoing military action in Ukraine, "we will be pausing our planned theatrical releases in Russia, including the upcoming release of Morbius," a Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement.
Russia is a significant market for Hollywood, accounting for US$601 million in box office in 2021, or about 2.8 percent of worldwide ticket sales, which totaled US$21.4 billion last year, according to Comscore.
Several major films are slated for global release, "The Batman," scheduled to open in Russia on March 3 as part of a worldwide roll-out, and Paramount Pictures' "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" which makes its global debut on April 8.