Hollywood doesn’t like to lose money and will get it anywhere they can, but Disney has made a bold move Monday, pulling its theatrical releases from Russia temporarily in reaction to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. “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,” said Disney in a statement Monday. “We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation. 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 to refugees.”
It is undetermined how long the pause in theatrical releases for upcoming Disney films will last. Following Disney’s announcement that they pulled their films, Warner Bros. and Sony later announced they pulled their upcoming films as well. Warner Bros. announced they delayed the release of The Batman starring Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz in Russia, which was set to release this Friday. “In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film ‘The Batman’ in Russia,” a spokesperson for WarnerMedia said in a statement Monday night. “We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.”
Sony is the latest studio to announce that they pulled not only their upcoming film Morbius starring Jared Leto from its planned release in Russia but all upcoming theatrical releases. “Given the ongoing military action in Ukraine and the resulting uncertainty and humanitarian crisis unfolding in that region, we will be pausing our planned theatrical releases in Russia, including the upcoming release of ‘Morbius,’” a Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesperson said Monday night. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been impacted and hope this crisis will be resolved quickly.”
The MPA issued its first statement Monday night since the Ukraine invasion began, saying: “The Motion Picture Association stands with the international community in upholding the rule of law and condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 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. We will continue to monitor the situation, working closely with our members and partners throughout the global creative sector.” It is unknown if already released films in Russia, such as Death on the Nile and Uncharted, will be pulled from theaters in the country.