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Disney will stop releasing films in Russia

<i>Courtesy of Marvel Studios/Disney</i><br/>Disney is pausing the release of its theatrical films in Russia
Courtesy of Marvel Studios
Courtesy of Marvel Studios/Disney
Disney is pausing the release of its theatrical films in Russia

By Frank Pallotta, CNN Business

Disney, Hollywood’s largest and most influential movie studio, is pausing the release of its theatrical films in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine last week.

“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 Disney spokesperson said in statement on Monday night. “We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation.”

The company added that Disney is working with its non-governmental-organization partners to “to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees” displaced by the military assault. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been condemned by many nations around the world and sparked a series of crippling economic sanctions targeting the Russian economy.

Disney had multiple films set for release in Russia in the coming months. That includes Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” on May 5 and Pixar’s “Lightyear” on June 16.

Although Russia is not a major movie market like China and the United States, the move to pull films from the country, at least for the time being, is notable.

The company’s decision could also prompt other movie studios to follow Disney’s lead and pull their own films from the country.

The Disney news comes just hours after Netflix, the other big name in the entertainment world, said it is refusing to air Russian state TV channels in the country on its service.

Following Disney’s announcement, WarnerMedia said that it was pulling “The Batman” from Russia. The superhero movie will potentially be one of the biggest hits of the year.

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