Paramount Pictures is the latest Hollywood studio to delay the theatrical release of its upcoming films in Russia, following the country’s invasion of Ukraine last week.
“As we witness the ongoing tragedy in Ukraine, we have decided to stop the theatrical release of our upcoming films in Russia, including ‘The Lost City,’ and ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2.’ We support all those affected by the humanitarian crisis across Ukraine, Russia and international markets
We are and will continue to monitor the situation as this occurs,” a studio spokesperson said in a statement.
Not only Paramount, Universal also joined the boycott, which means major Hollywood studios including Disney and Warner Bros. have been officially distributing their films to Russia for a while.
“In response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, Universal Pictures has suspended its planned theatrical release in Russia,” a Universal Pictures spokesperson said.
Earlier this week, Disney, Sony, and Warner Bros. also announced that they would not be releasing their new films such as “Turning Red”, “Morbius”, and “The Batman” to Russian theaters.
For now, several Hollywood titles that have premiered in Russia, including Sony’s “Uncharted” and Disney’s “Death on the Nile” will continue to play there until the end of the agreed licensing period.
Several blockbuster films released in Russia recently tend to be profitable for the studio. For example, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” earned $44 million, and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” earned $32 million in the country, making it the second-largest market for the film after North America.
“Uncharted” and “Death on the Nile,” two of Hollywood’s latest releases, have grossed $9 million and $6.7 million, respectively.
Across the entertainment industry, companies have debated the prospect of releasing content in Russia amid the military invasion of Ukraine.
Like Paramount, which said “will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds,” other studios have shared intentions to keep tabs on the “evolving situation.”
“We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation,” a Disney spokesperson said.
“Meanwhile, given the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent assistance and other humanitarian assistance to the refugees.”
Universal Pictures joins in stopping film shipments to Russia
Universal Pictures is the latest Hollywood studio to stop shipping its films to Russian theaters, joining Disney, Warner Bros., Sony, and Paramount in pulling their releases after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“In response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, Universal Pictures has suspended its planned cinema release in Russia,” a Universal spokesperson said in a statement.
Universal was originally set to release the animated “The Bad Guys” in Russia on March 24 and Michael Bay’s “Ambulance” to follow on April 7.
The Bad Guys” is a DreamWorks Animation production and voices Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Craig Robinson, Anthony Ramos, and Awkwafina.
Ambulance” stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as bank robbers who, following a heist, confiscate the ambulance and take the driver and passengers hostage.
Disney kicked off its wave of action Monday by saying it would pull its releases from Russia, including Pixar’s “Turning Red.” Warners and Sony quickly followed suit within hours, while Paramount made its own announcement Tuesday (1/3) morning.
Warners was probably the worst hit, with “The Batman” having to be pulled from any studio in Russia. This step was taken just days before its release date.
As of Sunday (27/2), the studio had planned to stick to a “The Batman” date. Other notable projects that are no longer set for release in Russia include Paramount’s “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and Marvel and Sony’s Jared Leto film, “Morbius”.
Major studios pulled their films following a weekend move by the European Union to ban Russia from the SWIFT global interbank messaging system. Without SWIFT, studios may not be able to get their money back from their Russian distribution partners.