Russian Cinema Chains Lobby for Hollywood Fare

'Incredibles 2' is among Hollywood titles Russian cinema chains are lobbying for

They have come with a list of upcoming titles that they say are vital for the exhibition industry and shouldn't be rescheduled in favor of homegrown movies.

Major Russian cinema chains, concerned about the culture ministry’s recent practice of rescheduling foreign releases to make room for local competitors, have come up with a list of foreign, mostly Hollywood, titles that they say are vital for the exhibition industry and should not be rescheduled.

In a letter addressed to the culture ministry and quoted by major local business daily RBC, four top 10 cinema chains — Cinema Park/Formula Kino (629 screens nationwide), Kinomax (235), Karo (233) and Cinema Star (127) — are calling on the ministry to keep the release dates of several major Hollywood films scheduled for the next few months.

The list includes Disney's Incredibles 2 (scheduled for release June 14), Paramount's Mission: Impossible 6 (July 26) and Fox's The Predator (Sept. 13).

The culture ministry, headed by recently reappointed Vladimir Medinsky, who is known for his anti-Hollywood stance, has had the power to reschedule foreign releases to avoid collisions with major local movies, for several years.

However, the agency began to actively use its power only in recent months. Earlier this month, the ministry postponed the release of the animated film Charming, originally scheduled for May 24, to protect the competing local release Sadko. So far, releases of about a dozen movies have been rescheduled.

This past January, the agency rescheduled the release of Paddington 2, but backed down after a huge public outcry.

The culture ministry didn't immediately comment.