Disney Will Pause Releasing Films in Russia

Disney Will Pause Releasing Films in Russia

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Disney has decided to take a stand. The company released a statement Monday night explaining that it won’t be releasing its films there for the foreseeable future, beginning with Pixar’s Turning Red.

“Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are pausing the release of theatrical films in Russia, including the upcoming Turning Red from Pixar,” said a statement released by Disney. “We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation. In the meantime, given the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees.”

Turning Red was set to release in Russia March 10, a day before it’s released in the U.S. However, in the U.S. it’s being released on Disney+ while many international markets were still getting a full theatrical release. After that, Disney has almost a full two months without a theatrical release, the next one coming in May with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. That’s then followed by Lightyear in June and Thor: Love and Thunder in July.

Disney is the first studio to take such a stance in Russia, and it’s possible it won’t be the last. However, it’s not exactly a huge loss for the company. Variety reports even a huge hit in Russia is usually only a small percentage of what a film grosses overseas. For example, Spider-Man: No Way Home was a massive hit there, grossing about $US45 ($62) million. However, that’s a mere fraction of the film’s total international gross to date, which is almost $US1.1 ($2) billion.

Nevertheless, the optics of this move and the strong support of Ukraine it shows is surely more important than whatever money may or may not be made on future films. Nice work by Mickey Mouse.

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Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.

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