Russian cinemas facing closure as sanctions cause revenue to fall 70%

Russian cinemas facing closure as sanctions cause revenue to fall 70% Credit: Creative Commons

Russian cinemas are reducing their opening hours or opening only on weekends, and some have already decided to close.

Russian cinemas will lose at least 11.1 billion rubles by the end of 2022, according to a cumulative projection by regional businessmen, released by TASS and reported by ProfileRu.

Alexander Goncharov, the Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights in the Chelyabinsk Region, stated:

“According to estimates of cinema owners, revenues for the first half of the year fell by 60 percent compared to the same period last year.”

“And if you compare the figures with 2019, the drop is 70 percent. It is the same with cinema attendance: now their opening hours are decreasing, not all cinemas open, unfortunately, the staff is decreasing too.” 

The Association of Cinema Owners noted that 36.4 percent of cinemas in Russia had closed by mid-April with the number of facilities decreasing to 3,633.

Predictions show that by the end of the year there will be no more than 6.142 billion rubles earned by Russian cinemas and only on the showings of domestic films.

In Moscow, the authorities have announced a package of measures to support cinemas that agree to use domestic films, with a the package not allowed to exceed 50 million rubles per cinema network.

In addition, Moscow will provide grants for advertising Russian films and for the shooting of films. 

Russian cinemas began to suffer after major foreign film companies such as Universal Pictures, Disney, Warner Bros. and Sony cancelled their premiere screenings in Russia amid the special operation in Ukraine.

Cinemas then started showing domestic films, including those released many years ago which had earned recognition among Russian viewers.

The State Duma also suggested looking for alternatives to Western films in those countries that had previously almost never supplied their films to the Russian market, such as films from China, India, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

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Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at