Putin, Russia Move To Restrict Hollywood and Foreign Movies Further

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Russia has moved to introduce more box-office restrictions that are expected to hit independent movies and big Hollywood blockbusters alike.  A law has been adopted in the first reading by the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russian Parliament, which dramatically increases the exhibition license fee from the currently rather symbolic figure of 3,500 rubles ($69) to at least 5 million rubles ($88,000) in a bid to give preference to their county’s own films.


The exhibition license is mandatory in Russia for all movies released theatrically.


Russian films will also be technically subject to an increased fee, but it will later be repaid to the producer, the culture ministry, which penned the legislation, said. Meanwhile, exhibition license fees collected from foreign films will be spent to fund local film production, according to the ministry.


The $88,000 figure is the minimum fee, while foreign movies grossing at least 200 million rubles ($3.5 million) will be subject to an exhibition license fee between 3 percent and 5 percent of their box-office gross, making it at least 6 million rubles ($106,000).


“All of us, participants of the Russian film business, want to support local filmmakers,” Natalia Sumina, marketing director at major Russian movie theater chain Karo, said.


According to Sumina, distributors of independent movies won’t be able to afford to pay an increased exhibition license fee that is commensurate to a movie’s expected box office gross.

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  AP
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