Disney, Warner Bros. and Sony Halt Film Releases in Russian Cinemas
In response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing humanitarian crisis, Hollywood studios Disney, Warner Bros., and Sony Pictures Entertainment have announced that theater releases of planned films in Russia will be halted.
The Walt Disney Company (DIS.N) announced Monday that it will halt the release of theatrical films in Russia, beginning with Pixar Animation Studios' "Turning Red." Within hours, WarnerMedia announced that the release of "The Batman" in Russia would be halted this week.
In a statement, Disney added, "We will make future business decisions based on the unfolding situation." "In the meantime, we're working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian support, given the size of the rising refugee crisis."
According to Comscore, Russia is a key market for Hollywood, accounting for $601 million in the box office in 2021, or approximately 2.8 percent of global ticket sales of $21.4 billion last year.
Several prominent films are set for global release, including "The Batman," which will debut in Russia on March 3 as part of a global rollout, and Paramount Pictures' "Sonic the Hedgehog 2," which will be released on April 8.
WarnerMedia said it would keep an eye on the situation while waiting for more information "a speedy and peaceful end to this tragedy."
According to one Hollywood trade newspaper, studio executives are debating the Russia issue as the United States and its European allies impose economic penalties.