Proposed legislation that would have cut the current number of Hollywood films playing in Russian theaters by as much as half is dead, according to Leonid Levin, head of the information policy committee of the Russian Duma quoted by local media. He called regulating the features that hit Russian theaters by imposing a quota unnecessary. “If there are good Russian movies, people turn out to see them anyway,” he said.
Levin’s announcement comes on the heels of Russian President Vladimir Putin weighing in on the issue earlier this month, calling the idea for imposing restrictions on foreign films wrong.
The proposed legislation was introduced in March by Robert Schlegel, a member of the Parliament group of the ruling party United Russia. Hollywood was relatively unmoved when the proposal first surfaced, with execs believing it didn’t sound realistic even despite Russia and the U.S.’ ongoing frosty relationship. It’s a fast-burn market, but Russia’s box office is booming and is a consistent source of revenue for the studios which in turn also helps drive interest in local movies.
A 2013 bill aiming to cap foreign films at 20% was unsuccessful and this one aiming to hamper Hollywood hegemony never seemed to carry that much weight, even if it did inspire some chills. A U.S. executive on Thursday allowed that “you never know” what could still happen, but believed the local industry would be shooting itself in the foot to put a limit on Hollywood movies. Further, with the country’s growing investment in exhibition, a cap “wouldn’t help anybody.”
Nancy Tartaglione contributed to this report