Russia to miss ‘The Batman’ as Hollywood boycotts invader

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Warner Bros. has announced that it has halted its plans to release the Robert Pattinson-starrer, ‘The Batman’. in Russia. The DC adaptation was set to release in the country on Friday (March 4).

“In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film ‘The Batman’ in Russia,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement quoted by ‘Variety’ in its report. “We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.”

Later on Monday evening (U.S. Pacific Time), Sony Pictures also paused its plans to release ‘Morbius’, its upcoming solo film for the Marvel antihero, and all other upcoming theatrical releases in Russia.

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

Warner Bros. and Sony’s decisions to halt the rollout of their respective superhero films in Russia followed an announcement by Disney to pause its own theatrical releases in that country, beginning with Pixar’s ‘Turning Red’. The animated film was set to premiere on March 10 in Russia.

With a production budget pegged at $200 million, ‘Variety’ noted, ‘The Batman’ will have to rely on overseas audiences to firmly supplant itself as a box office success story. “Russia generally isn’t a make-or-break territory for the success of Hollywood releases, but there is still a sizable market for a film like ‘The Batman’,” Variety said.

Looking back at last year’s releases, ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ generated a robust $44 million in Russia. ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ made $32 million in the country, making it the second-biggest market for the Tom Hardy sequel following North America.

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