Faced with the war taking place in Ukraine, the main American studios have decided not to release their films in Russia. “The Batman” (Warner), “Morbius” (Sony), and “Red Alert” (Disney) are the main ones concerned.
The Batman will not go to Russia
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is at the heart of the news. Several states reacted and denounced Vladimir Putin’s action. Since sanctions fall on Russia. Sanctions economic but also sporting and cultural. FIFA and UEFA, for example, have excluded Russia from all football competitions. And in the world of cinema, a reaction was not long in coming.
Indeed, various American studios have chosen not to release their next films on Russian soil. The first concern is The Batman, which arrives this week in French theaters. In Russia, it was to be released on March 3. Deadline relayed Warner’s press release on this subject:
In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is suspending the release of its feature film, The Batman in Russia. We will continue to monitor the situation. We hope for a quick and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.
A logical position of Hollywood
Before Warner, it was Disney who launched hostilities by suspending the release of Red alert. For its part, Sony has paused the distribution of its catalog of films in the country, starting with Morbius by declaring, always via Deadline :
Given the ongoing military action in Ukraine and the resulting uncertainty and humanitarian crisis in that region, we will be suspending our planned theatrical releases in Russia, including the upcoming release of Morbius.
These decisions might seem trivial compared to what is currently being played out in Ukraine. Only the withdrawal of these blockbusters represents a money loss both for studios and for Russian cinemas. Certainly, for Hollywood, these losses remain minimal compared to the global market. Spider-Man: No Way Home had for example brought in 44 million dollars in Russia, out of a world total close to two billion!
Something to put it into perspective, even if the studios are not the type to do without a few million. However, given the very likely collapse of the Russian economy, the profits would certainly not have been the same. A symbolic decision therefore from Hollywood, but also financially logical.
In France, The Batman will be released on March 2, and Morbius is still scheduled for March 30.