Minutes after Disney announced it was temporarily suspending distribution of its films in Russia, Warner Brothers is doing the same. Late Monday night, Warners announced it was pulling The Batman Russian cinemas indefinitely due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
“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,” Warner Bros. in a statement (via Deadline).
As of Monday morning, Warner Brothers had yet to call to find out if it would continue with plans to release the blockbuster in Russia this weekend. Either way, it seems Disney’s choice to postpone its entire slate in the country may have been a motivating factor. As it stands, Disney is suspending the release of films from any of its studios in Russia, including Pixar turn redwhich was due to be released in the country next week.
“Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are suspending the theatrical release of films in Russia, including Pixar’s upcoming Turning Red,” the company’s statement read. “We will make future business decisions as the situation evolves. In the meantime, given the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide emergency assistance and other forms of humanitarian assistance to refugees.”
The Ukrainian Film Academy has called on industry players to boycott Russian cinema since the country first invaded Ukraine earlier this month.
“But at a time when world powers are imposing economic and political sanctions on the Russian Federation, the country continues to be active in the cultural field. In particular, several films made by Russia are regularly admitted to the programs of most global film festivals, and significant resources are devoted to promoting them,” the petition read.
He adds: “The result of this activity is not only the dissemination of propaganda messages and distorted facts. It also reinforces the loyalty of Russian culture – the culture of the aggressor state, which has unleashed an unjustified and unprovoked war in Central Europe. The presence of Russian films on the program of world film festivals creates the illusion of Russian involvement in the values of the civilized world.”
The Batman opens in the United States on March 4.