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The Impact On Hollywood Of Putin’s War

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It may not be obvious, but Putin’s war will have several implications for Hollywood in the years to come. Here are some that come to my mind:

1. Because of the war, we can definitely expect to see several different types of movies. For one, Russia will re-emerge as the villain of the James Bond films, rather than the amorphous non-entity that has been in films since the collapse of the Soviet Union. We can expect an excellent spy thriller based on a Cold War era movie. Another film that is sure to be made is the sequel to “300” 2500 years later, based on Mariupol’s heroic stance. Definitely worthy of Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” style. There are bound to be movies of Putin-esque evil dictators bringing their country down. Think “Valkyrie”, but this time the assassination was a success.

2. Another effect on Hollywood is the end of self-sanctions for licensing films to Russia. This sanction will have a number of consequences, starting with the licensee’s claims for breach of contract and export arrangements, and the licensor’s defense claims of impracticality or force majeure. Just like Russia removed trademark protection for Western companies (allowing anyone in Russia to open a Starbucks)
SBUX
, for example), we should expect Russia to remove all copyright protections for Western films — that is, only if they pass new strict censorship rules. The end result will be a complete loss of film revenue from Russia. While this is only around 5% of global film revenue, studios need to factor this into their projection and film budgets.

3. The third effect will be the reverse issue of trying to raise funds from Russia for films that were previously shown there, as mutual currency controls now make this impossible. In such a case, the tide would be reversed, with the licensor filing a breach of contract claim and the licensee defending it on grounds of impracticality or force majeure. The second consequence of this problem that I have witnessed is that the individual film’s lenders said the default event was due to the expected default of the film by the Russian distributor. Even if (a) the producer has no direct contractual relationship with the Russian distributor, (b) there are no legal sanctions preventing the film from being licensed to Russia, and (c) the Russian distributor is required to pay US dollars.

4. Another certainty of the war will be the increase in the cost of film production, as the film industry is not immune to the effects of inflation, which will accelerate due to the oil embargo, rising wheat and fertilizer prices, and due to increased military spending. huge and depreciate the dollar. Think of it like a war tax.



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