not coming soon
Disney's upcoming movies won't be coming soon to Russian theaters.
The studio in a statement Monday announced that "given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis," it will pause plans to release movies theatrically in Russia. This includes the new Pixar animated film Turning Red, which was set to debut next week.
Disney is the first major film studio to announce plans to pause theatrical film releases in Russia due to the Ukraine invasion, which has sparked widespread condemnation and sanctions from world leaders. It wouldn't be surprising to see other studios soon follow suit, although according to Deadline, Warner Bros. is still moving forward with plans to release the highly-anticipated comic book film The Batman theatrically in Russia this weekend.
The Hollywood Reporter writes, though, that "behind the scenes, there is plenty of discussion as to what happens if Russia doesn't retreat," with one studio executive telling the outlet, "If the U.S. and its allies want to cut off Russia from the rest of the world, then how would we go ahead and release our movies there?"
Disney didn't specify how long it may pause its theatrical releases in Russia. The studio's upcoming films include May's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, June's Lightyear, and July's Thor Love and Thunder, which are expected to be among the highest grossing films of the summer. Other major films on the horizon includes Sony's Marvel film Morbius, which opens in April. The most recent Marvel blockbuster, Spider-Man: No Way Home, grossed more than $40 million in Russia.
"We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation," Disney said. "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."