One of this summer’s biggest Hollywood blockbusters, ‘Barbie’, has been leaked in full to the Russian YouTube alternative called RuTube. The film was not officially released in Russia, as Western movie studios left the country due to the conflict in Ukraine.
The full 1 hour, 54-minute movie was uploaded to the video hosting site in 1080p quality and featuring a full Russian dub. The leak came a day before the film’s planned international digital release.
Last week, several movie theaters across Russia also started showing pirated copies of the film with tickets as low as 280 rubles (around $3). Some cinemas, according to Telegram channel Baza, also showed ‘Barbie’ as well as Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ under code names such as ‘Quick Dates’ and ‘Dubak’ (extreme cold), respectively.
Late last month, Russia’s Culture Ministry stated that it would not order the licensing of ‘Barbie’ and ‘Oppenheimer’, explaining that neither of the films meets the “goals and objectives set by the head of state to preserve and strengthen traditional Russian spiritual and moral values.”
The ministry noted that there are plenty of high-quality domestic films, such as the family comedy ‘Cheburashka’ – a Soviet-era cartoon character with big ears – available in Russia.
Russia’s Association of Film and Television Producers (APKiT) also opposed officially licensing the two Hollywood blockbusters, explaining that in the context of Western movie studios pulling out of Russia, the need for import substitution stimulated an increase in the production of Russian films and TV series and has contributed to the development of domestic cinematography.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with RT in May that if major Hollywood studios and other Western businesses leave the Russian market, then he would have no problem with Russians pirating Western intellectual property.
Medvedev has also called on Russians to “find proper pirates and download everything from them” in order to inflict “maximum damage” and cause Western companies that left Russia to go broke.