Disney First to Halt Movie Releases in Russia Due to Ukraine Invasion


The Walt Disney Company has released a statement announcing the halt of all cinematic releases in the wake of the current ongoing crisis in Ukraine.


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While all reports have suggested that Warner Bros. will still be releasing The Batman in Russia this week, The Walt Disney Company has released a statement announcing the halting of all cinematic releases in the wake of the current ongoing crisis in Ukraine. The move comes as Disney prepares some big releases, including the upcoming Pixar movie Turning Redwith other films such as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness set to be addressed “based on the evolving situation.”

Although Russia’s market is not as lucrative as China, Spider-Man: No Way Home pulled in over $ 50 million in the country, and if the current invasion of Russia continues to escalate, then there is going to be a big chunk of revenue for Disney’s upcoming movies lost. With that in mind, it is clear exactly what Disney’s stance is when it comes to the actions of Russia, and the need to stand in solidarity is something that overrides thoughts of profits. Disney’s statement read:

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“Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are pausing the release of theatrical films in Russia, including the upcoming ‘Turning Red‘from Pixar. We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation. 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. ”

Disney May Be The First To Pull Movie Releases From Russia, But It Will Not Be The Last


The Batman cast

Following the London premiere of The Batman, it was announced that the Matt Reeves-directed movie would still be opening in Russia as part of the worldwide rollout of the film at the end of this week. With Disney being one of the biggest players in Hollywood and taking the hard stance to postpone its most imminent movies, it is still possible that The Batman could be pulled from the Russian release slate before the end of the week.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, countries around the world have been deciding on sanctions and bans in relation to Russia, and that led to early discussions by Hollywood studio executives on whether to pull their upcoming movies in support of Ukraine. The Hollywood Reporter said earlier this week that one executive told them, “If the US and its allies want to cut off Russia from the rest of the world, then how would we go ahead and release our movies there?”


While there is a moral stance being taken by Disney, with others likely to follow suit as movies like Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Morbius and Fantastic Beasts 3 all move towards release dates, the action by the European Union to take Russia out of the global banking system SWIFT, means that from a financial viewpoint, releasing the movies would be no guarantee of getting any money back from distribution partners in the country without Russia being reinstated into SWIFT. That is something, at this time, seems very unlikely in the immediate future.



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