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Disney to Pause Theatrical Releases in Russia

Today, The Walt Disney Company announced that they will be pausing all theatrical releases in Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

“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,” a Walt Disney Co. spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”

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Turning Red was scheduled to hit theater in Russia on March 10. Russia has been a solid box office territory for recent event films, which includes Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home. The film has pulled in more than $44.5 million in Russia to date. Disney has multiple films scheduled in Russia including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 5) and Lightyear (June 16).

This move may not be a massive one for Disney’s total box office, but this is a major symbolic move that is certainly influential. Just hours after Disney announced their halt, Warner Bros. also paused the release of the highly-anticipated The Batman in Russia. More studios and films are expected to follow suit in the coming days.

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