The closure of Russian cinemas in May slowed down due to long weekends and interesting releases for the audience, Roman Isaev, a member of the Association of Cinema Owners (AVK), head of the Russian representative office of Comscore Corporation, told Interfax. However, in July, against the backdrop of the lack of cinema, the situation with the closure may accelerate, he believes. “Given more or less some interesting releases and long holidays, when people wanted to go somewhere, the closure of cinemas in May slowed down a bit, but we saw several cases of cinema closures,” Isaev said. He clarified that in general, under the current conditions, cinemas worked “acceptably” in May. In June, according to the expert, there are also a certain number of releases that are interesting to the viewer, but they are “absolutely not of the caliber that they could have been if Hollywood had not left.” “But, nevertheless, we already see a certain number of theaters closing in June, now we are assessing and counting them in quantitative terms, I think that in June we will see a number of cinemas closed. But in July-August this situation may accelerate, because there are practically no releases interesting to the viewer for July,” Isaev emphasized. Isaev also said that the association continues negotiations with the authorities on possible measures to support the cinema industry, an understanding of what measures can be prepared, according to the expert, will appear closer to the middle of summer. “That assistance in the amount of 6.5 billion rubles (…) this assistance was denied. The negotiation process continues, the Association is currently communicating with representatives of our legislative and executive authorities, of course, we do not abandon this story , because we understand that without financial assistance in one way or another, most cinemas, unfortunately, will not survive by the fall,” Isaev said. On May 16, Isaev told Interfax that the Russian government had refused to grant cinemas a subsidy of 6.5 billion rubles. According to him, such a decision may lead to the fact that cinemas “will begin to close massively from the 20th of May and throughout the summer.” “By the end of the summer, we may see most cinemas closed,” he noted. Later, presidential adviser on culture Vladimir Tolstoy said that the Russian government was considering other options for supporting cinemas, which had previously been denied subsidies in the amount of 6.5 billion rubles. Foreign companies Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal have decided to suspend theatrical distribution of their releases, as well as temporarily stop their activities in the Russian Federation. Source: FINMARKET.RU

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