The Batman Pulled From Russian Movie Theaters Before Premiere

Minutes after Disney announced it's temporarily pausing the distribution of its movies to Russia, Warner Brothers is doing the same. Late Monday night, Warners announced it's pulling The Batman from Russian cinemas indefinitely due to the country's invasion of Ukraine.

"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." Warner Bros. said in a statement (via Deadline).

As of Monday morning, Warner Brothers had yet to make a call as to whether it would continue with its plans to release the blockbuster in Russia this weekend. Regardless, it looks like Disney's choice to postpone its entire slate in the country may have been a motivating factor. As it stands now, Disney is pausing the release of movies from any of its studios in Russia, including Pixar's Turning Red, which was due out in the country next 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," the company's statement reads. "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."

The Ukrainian Film Academy has been petitioning those in the industry to boycott Russian cinema since the country first invaded Ukraine earlier this month. 

"But at a time when world powers are imposing economic and political sanctions on the Russian Federation, the country continues to be active in the cultural field. In particular, several films made by Russia are regularly admitted to the programs of most world film festivals, and significant resources are spent on their promotion," the petition reads.

It adds, "The result of this activity is not only the spread of propaganda messages and distorted facts. It also boosts the loyalty of Russian culture – the culture of the aggressor state, which unleashed unjustified and unprovoked war in central Europe. Even the very presence of Russian films in the program of world film festivals creates the illusion of Russia's involvement in the values of the civilized world."

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The Batman opens stateside on March 4th.