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Will Movie Studios Pull Out of Russian Theaters Amid Ukraine Invasion?

Photo by NomadSoul1 via Envato Elements

Will Movie Studios Pull Out of Russian Theaters Amid Ukraine Invasion?

By Movieguide® Contributor

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, movie studios are wondering whether they should pull all upcoming releases from Russia. 

“We urge you to terminate all contracts with them,” a petition from the Ukrainian Film Academy reads. “Remember that the business that will use your films pays taxes to the Russian budget, which finances the army that violated the borders of an independent state and buys missiles to bomb the civilian population of Europe.”

Warner Bros. pulled THE BATMAN ahead of its scheduled release March 3. 

“In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film ‘The Batman’ in Russia,” a spokesperson said.

Additionally, Disney announced it was pulling TURNING RED.

“Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are pausing the theatrical release of films in Russia,” Disney said in a statement.

The Russian box office can be very lucrative for studios; SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME earned $44.5 million in the country, and is still making money. 

While many are calling for the studios to boycott Russia, box office sources told The Hollywood Reporter that it can be difficult to pull a movie from theaters at the last minute. Studio sources also shared that Russian theaters are privately owned, not controlled by Vladmir Putin’s government. However, many of the media advertising platforms are. 

While studios still wonder how best to respond to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, other entertainment outlets have already boycotted the country. 

The European Broadcasting Union has banned Russia from participating in the popular Eurovision Song Contest, while the Union of European Football Associations has moved their Champions League final match from St. Petersburg to Paris in protest. Formula One has also canceled a planned race in Russia that was set to take place in September. 

Movieguide® has reported on the ongoing situation in Ukraine:

CNN captured an emotional moment of a small group of people kneeling and praying in a Ukrainian town square as Russia attacked the country.

“I think this really speaks to the sort of desperation of this moment. We just see a small group of people and I’m hoping you can see them on our shot here,” CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward said on the air. “A small group of people have gathered in the main square and they are kneeling and praying. Because right now there is truly a sense of having no idea what is coming down the pipeline. What is in store for the people of Ukraine in the coming hours in the coming days, and it’s freezing cold here. So to see these people kneeling on the cold stone, and prayer is honestly it’s very moving gone. And I think it speaks to the state of ordinary Ukrainians here who have done absolutely nothing to deserve this who have no quarrel with Russia.”

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.