Warner Bros. has halted its plans to release The Batman in Russia. The DC adaptation was initially set to release in the country on 3 March 2022.
The decision comes as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine.
“In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film The Batman in Russia,” a spokesperson for WarnerMedia said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.”
Other upcoming Warner Bros. films slated for release in Russia include Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and the animated DC League of Super-Pets on 14 April and 19 May respectively.
Warner Bros.’ decision to pull The Batman in the country comes only hours after Disney announced its own plans to pause theatrical releases in Russia, beginning with Pixar’s Turning Red. The coming of age animated feature was set to premiere on 10 March in the country.
“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 a statement on Monday afternoon. “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.”
Other upcoming films planned for release in Russia include Paramount’s Lost City and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sony’s Morbius. Although Russia isn’t a make-or-break territory for the success of Hollywood releases, it is still a sizeable market. Spider-Man: No Way Home generated a robust US$44 million in Russia whilst Venom: Let There Be Carnage made US$32 million, making it the second-biggest market for the Tom Hardy sequel.
With a production budget estimated at US$200 million, The Batman will have to rely on overseas audiences to be a box-office success story.