Russia's attack on its independent neighbour country Ukraine has resulted in a number of sanctions. While the United States has limited imports of semiconductors, sensors and more, nothing has happened to affect the lives of Russian civilians. However, that's set to change as movie studios like Disney take a stance on the ongoing conflict.
Disney pull out of Russia
Announced in a press release, Disney kicked off the first major ramification on Russian citizens. The world's biggest entertainment company announced that it will no longer be releasing movies in the region while the conflict is still ongoing.
“Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are pausing the release of theatrical films in Russia,” Disney announced. “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.”
Disney’s pause on Russian releases will start with Pixar’s new movie — Turning Red — on March 10th. Additionally, if the conflict continues, the company will also limit the release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in May, Lightyear in June and Thor: Love and Thunder in July.
However, Disney has not decided to halt other services in the country. For example, the company's streaming service, Disney Plus, is still available in the region. Furthermore, Russia isn't exactly a profitable region for Disney. Spider-Man: No Way Home, one of the world's biggest movies, only made $45 million in Russia.
Warner Bros and Sony join in
Mere hours after Disney announced its pull from Russia, Warner Bros and Sony joined the fray. Warner Bros came first, promptly announcing a paused release of The Batman in Russian cities got the foreseeable future. Afterwards, Sony followed suit. The Japanese film company revealed that its upcoming Marvel movie Morbius will not release in the country.
“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,'” Sony said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been impacted and hope this crisis will be resolved quickly.”
At the time of writing, it's unclear what will happen to movies that are currently playing in the country. For example, Sony’s recently released Uncharted movie is currently available in Russian cinemas.