Russian cinemas are all set to increase the number of screens and shows for Indian films, as Western distributors have limited their film sales to Russia and major Hollywood studios have boycotted Russia because of the ongoing war. against Ukraine.
After the coronavirus pandemic, movie theaters in Russia were just recovering when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russian military operations in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The operations quickly took the form of a war and from its beginnings , Russia faces various sanctions and boycotts from Western nations in various fields ranging from cinema to space technology. The Russian economy is the preferred target of these sanctions.
While several large multinationals have announced that they are withdrawing from Russia, several film studios have also decided not to release their films in the country. Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Sony Entertainment are among the major studios that have delayed or canceled their big releases in Russia.
According to the Russian daily Vedomosti, after the announcement by major Hollywood studios of the suspension of new releases in Russia, Russian cinema networks could turn to Bollywood blockbusters and films from other Asian and Latin American nations. Foreign films accounted for 75% of the Russian box office in 2021. Going to the cinema is one of the most popular pastimes among Russians. The report states that recently, the special screening of the film “Radhe Shyam” sold out and new viewers for the unified cinema network Cinema Park and Formula Kino.
Olga Zinyakova, president of the Karo cinema chain, told Vedomosti that she did not believe the situation was hopeless. “People were lining up to see Bollywood in cinemas, so there is interest in these films.” Cinema Park, Formula Kino, Premier Hall, Karo, Kinomax and Cinema Star are the main movie exhibition chains in Russia. They informed the Russian newspaper that they will show national dishes, films from South Korea and Latin America, as well as Bollywood films in India. These movie theater chains represent 31.5% of the movie distribution market in terms of movie theaters in January 2022.
Cinema chains will not increase ticket prices and will freeze them instead. However, theaters will continue to show Russian and South Korean films, as well as Indian films. It is therefore a good opportunity for Indian cinemas and Indian filmmakers could benefit from the Russian market following the withdrawal of major Hollywood studios.