As of March 1, 4:05 pm, Universal has halted the release of its films in Russia, including Michael Bay’s “Ambulance” and DreamWorks’ “Bad Guys.” Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II star in “Ambulance,” while Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Craig Robinson, Anthony Ramos and Awkwafina have voice parts in “Bad Guys.”
In addition to “The Lost City”, Paramount has also pulled two upcoming releases from the calendar in Russia: “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and “The Lost Planet”.
The ongoing tragedy in Ukraine has prompted us to pause the release of our upcoming films in Russia, including ‘The Lost City’ and ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2.’ We stand by all those affected by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, Russia, and foreign markets, and will continue to monitor the unfolding situation, a spokesperson for the studio said.
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The invasion of Russia has prompted Sony to pull its release of Morbius from Russia amid fears of a backlash. According to a Sony spokesperson late Monday, “Given the ongoing military action in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis unfolding there, we are halting our planned theatrical releases in Russia, including the release of Morbius due out in September,” the spokesperson said. Those who have been affected are in our thoughts and prayers and we hope this crisis can be resolved as soon as possible.”
As of February 28, 9:14 pm Eastern Standard Time, Warner Bros. has also pulled “The Batman” from its imminent release on February 28 in Russia. The spokesperson for WarnerMedia explained in a statement that the company will be postponing the release of its film ‘The Batman’ on Russian theatres due to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. This is something we will be keeping a close watch on as the situation develops. Let’s hope we are able to put this tragedy to rest quickly and peacefully.”
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Update February 28, 7:38 pm ET: In the context of the Western world rallying around Ukraine and applying aggressive sanctions that are crippling the Russian economy as Vladimir Putin invades the European nation, Hollywood has faced difficult choices regarding how it will respond to the situation. Disney announced today that all upcoming theatrical films will be halted in Russia while the invasion continues, beginning with “Turning Red,” due out next week. In a statement released this afternoon, the company said it will not do business in Russia.
We have halted the release of all theatrical films in Russia, including the upcoming Pixar flick ‘Turning Red,’ due to the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis there, the company said. In future business decisions, we will take into account the changing environment. Despite the scale of the refugee crisis, we are engaged in providing urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees through our NGOs.
The move comes at a time when many in the sports and entertainment world are taking steps to isolate Russia from global pop culture. Russia has been banned from competing at any international soccer matches following the cancellation of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix, which was scheduled for September. Many top American music venues have also announced they will stop serving Russian vodka, and musicians such as Green Day and AJR have canceled upcoming concerts in Russia.
The American film industry has taken its strongest stance against Russia since the invasion began when Disney made its decision. The film with the highest box office is still expected to premiere in Russia. According to Deadline, Warner Bros. has no plans to withdraw “The Batman” from Russia when it hits theaters this weekend, citing contractual obligations and the fact that the film is being distributed through companies not owned by the government.
Disney’s Russian boycott may last a long time, or other studios may respond differently. In addition to “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” scheduled for release in May, “Lightyear” scheduled for release in June, and “Thor: Love and Thunder” scheduled for release in July.