A dangerous cold war like atmosphere has been evolving between Russia and the United States ever since the annexation of Crimea by Russia. In a show of disapproval of this move the Obama administration imposed asset bans and travel freezes on several Russian officials and businessmen last week. The Moscow Times reported on March 25, 2014 that Russia is now preparing legislation aimed at reducing the number of foreign films shown in Russian cinemas.
Lawmakers in Russia are finalizing a draft bill that would introduce a 50 percent cap on the number of foreign films which are shown in Russian cinemas. United Russia party deputy Robert Schlegel says this new legislation is not linked to the U.S. moves in response to the Crimea annexation. However, the moves by each country appear to reflect growing tensions between Moscow and Washington. Meanwhile the president of the Russian Television Academy Alexander Akopov has expressed feelings that a cap on foreign films is not a good idea because it could lead to Russian directors becoming lazy and failing to produce their best work.
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that the Russian parliament is preparing to introduce a quota which would limit foreign films to no greater than half of around 350 annual releases in the country under an initial proposal. This new law would dramatically cut the number of U.S. releases. With U.S. movies accounting for about 70 percent of Russia's annual $1.3 billion box office this would hurt revenues of Hollywood studios. This all makes us think perhaps most everyone in entertainment circles wishes Ronald Reagan was still alive to consult with about this mess.