Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is still going strong, but its economy is taking a massive hit. A number of companies have stopped all business dealings with Vladimir Putin and Russian businesses until troops withdraw from Ukraine. Some major companies halting business in Russia are Coca-Cola, Fed-Ex, and UPS. Multiple countries have also imposed massive sanctions on Russia. Some of those countries are the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the famously-neutral Switzerland.
The first film studio to stop all theatrical releases in Russia was Disney. The company issued a statement saying that there were pausing all films scheduled for theatrical release. This includes the new Pixar film Turning Red. The Walt Disney Company also shared that they are working with several organizations to provide aid to Ukrainian refugees.
Shortly after Disney announced its plans to pause theatrical releases, other major studios stepped up and did the same thing. Both Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. have announced that they would not be releasing films in Russia for the time being. Warner Bros. latest film, The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson was scheduled to be released in Russia on Friday, but that will not happen. Sony Pictures has chosen not to release Morbius.
Warner Bros. released a statement through its spokesperson, who said:
“In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film The Batman in Russia. We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.”
Sony Pictures made the following statement the same day:
“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. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been impacted and hope this crisis will be resolved quickly.”
Paramount Pictures also made a statement and said that it has scrapped plans to release Sonic The Hedgehog 2 on March 31 and The Lost City on April 7.
“As we witness the ongoing tragedy in Ukraine, we have decided to pause the theatrical release of our upcoming films in Russia, including The Lost City and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. We stand by all those impacted by the humanitarian crisis across Ukraine, Russia and our international markets and will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds.”
One company that has remained surprisingly quiet is NBCUniversal. At this time, it looks like the company is still planning to release Ambulance, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, on April 7. Universal/DreamWorks will also give its new film, The Bad Guys, a theatrical release in Russia on March 24.