Several Major Studios Pause Releases in Russia Due to Invasion of Ukraine

Warner Bros. has paused the March 3 release of The Batman. Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

Russian moviegoers will have to wait. Several major studios have announced they will delay releases in Russia because of the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Per the New York Times, Disney was the first Hollywood studio to publicly make the decision. “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,” Disney said in a statement Monday, February 28.

Shortly after, Warner Bros. announced it would pause the release of its highly anticipated Robert Pattinson film The Batman “in light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.” This was a reversal of the studio’s previous decision to push ahead with the scheduled March 3 release date; Warner executives had reportedly reasoned that they’d already marketed the movie and that the Russian government did not own the country’s movie theaters.

Sony followed suit with a similar announcement for its upcoming Spider-Man spinoff. “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,” the studio said in a statement.

On March 1, Universal announced they are also halting all theatrical releases in Russia. “In response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, Universal Pictures has paused planned theatrical releases in Russia,” said a spokesperson in a statement to Deadline. Like the other studios, Universal didn’t specify which titles are not being released; however upcoming international releases include Belfast, The Bad Guys, Ambulance, and Jurassic World Dominion.

Paramount joins its fellow studios and will suspend the release of upcoming films The Lost City and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. “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,” Paramount announced in a statement to Deadline on March 1.

As the situation in Ukraine evolves, it’s not clear how long these delays will last. Russia is not a top market for American-made movies, but the country still generates hundreds of millions of dollars in ticket sales. The Motion Picture Association released a statement Monday condemning the Russian invasion. “On behalf of our member companies, who lead the film, TV and streaming industry, we express our strongest support for Ukraine’s vibrant creative community who, like all people, deserve to live and work peacefully,” the MPA said.

This post has been updated throughout. 

Major Studios Pause Russia Releases Amid Invasion of Ukraine