Russian Producers Ask Government For Protection Against Hollywood Releases

Moscow Kremlin - H 2015
AP Images

Moscow Kremlin - H 2015

They are concerned that several local releases will have to compete with Hollywood fare over the lucrative New Year's season.

Russian producers have addressed the government, asking for more protection against Hollywood releases during the upcoming New Year's holiday season.

A group of top tier producers, including STV's Sergei Selyanov, Art Pictures' Fyodor Bondarchuk and Dmitry Rudovsky and Weit Media's Timur Weinstein, sent a letter to the culture ministry, urging it to step in and make sure that several major local releases scheduled for late December won't compete with Hollywood movies in theaters.

The producers argued that since five of the biggest local New Year's-season movies were all partially financed by the government, the ministry should help them to achieve maximum box office performance.

The Russian releases Ivan Tsarevich and the Grey Wolf 3, Mafia, Wonderland, I Need to Get Married Soon and Big Country's Voices are set to compete against Point Break, Steve Jobs and The Little Prince. Given most local releases' poor box office performance this year, the films' producers fear that they will be again outperformed by Hollywood during the lucrative New Year's holiday season.

Technically, the culture ministry has the power to move dates of Hollywood releases to avoid conflicts with local films, but it has only used it once so far. Earlier this year, Disney and distributor BVSPR moved the release date of The Avengers: Age of Ultron at the ministry's suggestion to avoid collision with the local film The Dawns Here are Quiet.

Meanwhile, the letter also suggested that Hollywood films' Russian releases be scheduled for the same dates as world releases, so that Russian producers and distributors could plan their releases far in advance.

The culture ministry confirmed the reception of the letter but hasn't made any further comments.