The Russian rulings provide the Russian ministry of culture with right to change the date of release for foreign movie if the Russian movie is to be also released on the same dates. So most often the Hollywood movies fall under these rules. That is what happened with cartoon “The Queen’s Corgi”, but the outcome was unexpected.
Initially Russian ministry of culture (MinCult) proposed company, who organized cinema distribution of The Queen’s Corgi, to shift release date from 7 of March to other date – the end of the March or beginning of April. The distributor did not like it and was not intended to agree with that. The MinCult justified its proposal by the governmental decree allowing shifting release date of foreign movies for the box-office benefit of Russian cinema if the last has the same or near dates of release. The cinema owners also were not agreed with MinCult’s position.
What happened next? The Russian cinemas decided to boycott the Hurvínek, in other words if they can’t screen Corgi they also refuse to screen Hurvínek unless the MinCult changes its position on release dates. This decision has been outlined in the letter signed by cinema owners and addressed to MinCult. De facto it was the first ultimatum to MinCult. Actually the Russian movies distributors don’t appraise the MinCult’s authority to change release dates. They even asked Russian prime minister to advice MinCult stay aside from regulation of movie industry because it damages it.
After the cinemas’ refusal to screen Hurvínek producers of this cartoon asked cinemas to take it. The distributor of The Queens Corgi applied for other release dates. The Hurvínek has been shown in few cinemas (most of them are state cinemas) and the box-office was about 15 and half million Russian roubles. The stakeholders believed the distribution of this cartoon failed because the box-office is too low. But Hurvínek’s producers believed otherwise. What was reaction of MinCult? It blamed the Hurvínek’s producers that the distribution failed.
According to MinCult during the whole month it tried to reconcile the Hurvínek’s producers and cinemas. And only firsts are guilty in failure. The fact that the cause of this strike was MinCult’s decision was hushed by the MinCult. “It’s classic failure”, – stated MinCult’s representative. “The distribution of Hurvínek is bad example”, – stated MinCult. But, from other side such situation proves that industry actively evolves, added in MinCult. As a result the cinemas agreed to include Hurvínek in their list.