A group of top Russian film producers have asked the government to protect local films against competition from Hollywood releases during the New Year’s holiday season.
The producers, who include STV’s Sergei Selyanov, Fyodor Bondarchuk and Dmitry Rudovsky of Art Pictures and Weit Media’s Timur Weinstein, wrote to the Ministry of Culture, asking it to ensure that major local films scheduled for release in late December would not have to compete with Hollywood films.
Russian films Ivan Tsarevich and the Grey Wolf 3, Mafia, Wonderland, I Need to Get Married Soon and Big Country’s Voices are set to be up against Hollywood releases Point Break, Steve Jobs and The Little Prince. According to the letter, given that the domestic films were all partially funded by the government, the ministry should help them to achieve the best box office performance possible.
The letter suggested both that the dates of the Hollywood releases be changed to avoid conflicts with local films and that the release of Hollywood films in Russia be scheduled for the same dates as world releases, so that Russian producers and distributors are able to strategically plan their release dates in advance.
Under Russian law the Ministry of Culture has the power to alter the dates of Hollywood releases to avoid conflicts with Russian films, but it has only enacted this power once before. Earlier this year, Disney and Russian distributor BVSPR followed a suggestion by the Ministry to change the release date of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, in order to avoid conflict with the local film The Dawns Here are Quiet.
Although the Ministry of Culture has confirmed receipt of the letter, it has yet to make any further comments.
Source: Hollywood Reporter