Commenting on a newspaper report which cited him as saying he was outraged by the cinema chain’s decision to cancel the film, Medinsky wrote on Twitter that the company had every right to do so.

“It is the deliberately whipped up hysteria surrounding an otherwise ordinary artistic film that is disturbing,” Medinsky wrote on Wednesday, not the cinema’s cancelation.

On Monday, Russia’s National Film Foundation canceled a screening of the film for “technical reasons” hours after two cars outside director Uchitel’s lawyer’s office were set on fire in central Moscow. The arson attack was just the latest in a series believed to be in opposition to the film.

Orthodox activists, including State Duma Deputy Natalia Poklonskaya, have rallied against the film depicting the Tsar’s affair with Mathilde Kschessinska, saying it offends religious believers.

An elderly widow of the Tsar’s nephew has sued the director’s studio over the film.