March 1, 2022 - 11:13 AMT
Disney, Warner Bros, Sony pausing movie releases in Russia

Disney is pausing all theatrical releases in Russia, including the upcoming Pixar film "Turning Red", citing the “unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis”, The Guardian reports.

“We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation,” Disney said on Monday, February 28. “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.”

Several major films are slated for global release soon, including the Warner Bros’ superhero film "The Batman", which would have started showing on Friday in Russia. A few hours after Disney’s decision was announced, Warner Bros said: “In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film The Batman in Russia. We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.”

Following Disney and Warner Bros, Sony Pictures announced it would also pause all its theatrical releases in Russia, including Morbius, which stars Jared Leto as the Marvel antihero and was set to open on 24 March.

“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,” a Sony Pictures spokesperson said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been impacted and hope this crisis will be resolved quickly.”

Other Warner Bros films due to be released in Russia soon included Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore on 14 April, and the animated DC League of Super-Pets on 19 May.