Columbia Pictures

By Alexander Hill

Columbia-Pictures-Company-Logo[1]

10202 West Washington Boulevard,

Culver City, California 90232

Key Executives [1]

michael-lynton

Michael Lynton
Chairmen and CEO

Amy Pascal
Co-Chairmen

david-hendler

David Hendler
Senior Executive Vice President and CFO

michaeldeluca

Michael Deluca
President, Production
Columbia Pictures

 

charles-sipkins

Charles Sipkins
Executive Vice President and CCO

History:

Two brothers, Jack and Harry Cohn, and their partner Joe Brandt founded Columbia Pictures in 1918. The studio was originally named Cohn-Brandt-Cohn Film Sales, before officially becoming Columbia Pictures in 1925. Over the following decades the film company would be propelled into the Hollywood spotlight, developing a national following and becoming one of the major film studios in America.  The company would be sold to the Coca-Cola Company in 1982, before becoming an individual entity known as Columbia Pictures Entertainment under Tri-Star in 1987. In 1989 for a reported $3.4 billion [2], the Sony Corporation of Japan and its board approved the purchase of Columbia Pictures Entertainment, a move that would have a long-lasting impact on the future of the company. [3]

Financials:

Columbia Pictures, and Sony Pictures Entertainment are both privately traded companies.  After the initial purchase of Columbia, there were some financial woes for Sony after a series of poor box office results during the early 90’s. More recently the studio has had a number of successes with the Spiderman and James Bond franchises, Hitch, and Hancock just to name a few. Columbia Pictures operates under the much broader Sony Pictures Entertainment and Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, and often works with other studios when producing films. This upcoming year Columbia plans to release two sequels (The Amazing Spiderman 2, and 22 Jump Street), whose predecessors grossed over $900,000,000 combined worldwide. [4][5]

Recent Releases:

American Hustle (2013)
Budget: $40,000,000
Worldwide Gross: $251,171,807 [6]

HUSTLEposter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By far the biggest success recently for the studio is critically acclaimed film “American Hustle”. The film racked up 10 Academy Award Nominations, although it failed to bring home a single award against a stacked field that included “12 Years a Slave”, “Wolf of Wall Street”, and “Gravity” just to name a few. The plot follows con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), and his redheaded girlfriend (Amy Adams), as they work with an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to fool a group of politicians, and mafia members. The star-studded cast, and clever script made American Hustle extremely profitable for the studio, garnering over $150 million domestically. [7]

The Monuments Men (2014)
Budget: $70,000,000
Worldwide Gross: $155,118,847 [8]

MMposter

Part of the 2014 slate of movies for Columbia Pictures, “The Monuments Men” follows a group of American soldiers penetrating Nazi lines to recover precious artwork. The film is based on an actual group of soldiers and was developed in large part by George Clooney who was extremely invested in the production, in which he wrote, directed, and starred. Originally planned to release in 2013, the film was pushed back to 2014 due to a number of technically difficulties. It was greeted by mediocre reviews, and fairly lackluster box office results. [9][10]

RoboCop (2014)
Budget: $100,000,000
Worldwide Gross: $241,279,202 [11]

Robocop

A reboot of the 1987 franchise, RoboCop returned in 2014 with actor Joel Kinnaman behind the robotic mask. With an enormous budget of $100 million the film failed to impress in the United States, bringing in a very low $57 million. This number may have come as a surprise to the studio who expected to see many old fans of the franchise return for the remake. The film opened just one week after the “Lego Movie”, and the stiff competition may have impacted the films earnings. Despite disappointing domestic totals, the film did manage to gain some traction overseas and was extremely popular in the UK and other parts of Europe. It is till unclear whether or not a sequel will be produced, but with the films international success it is certainly a possibility. [12][13]

Upcoming Releases

The Amazing Spider Man 2
Release Date: May 2nd, 2014
Trailer

amazingspiderman poster

In 2012, the studio released “The Amazing Spider Man” which drew in over $700 million worldwide. After the huge success of the Spider Man trilogy which featured Tobey Maguire, the franchise returned with Andrew Garfield in the title role. In just under 2 weeks Spidey will return to the United States, and should be the years largest draw for the studio.  The film was already released internationally in some areas, and grossed $47 million in its first weekend; a number which is higher than the “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” opening in similar regions. Captain America currently sits atop the box office rankings for the second straight week, but Spider Man is looking poised to make a run at that position upon release. [14][15]

22 Jump Street
Release Date: July 13th, 2014
Trailer

22JumpStreet

In addition to doing a second Spider Man, Columbia Pictures is slated to release the sequel to “21 Jump Street” in 2014. “22 Jump Street” will see the duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return in hopes of topping their $200 million dollar success back in 2012. The last film had Hill and Tatum attending high school, but they’ve moved on to college for the sequel which is sure to draw back the young audience they targeted the first time around who may have moved on to college themselves. [16][17]

Future of Columbia Pictures

As Columbia Pictures enters 2014 they seem to be focused on recreating and building upon already established brands.  With two sequels headlining their summer release schedule,and reboots continuously showing large profits for the studio don’t expect their formula to change anytime soon.   Also noteworthy is Sony Picture Entertainments recent interest in turning its existing video game titles into movies. Rumors have been circulation around the internet that a Sonic the Hedgehog movie could be in the works from Columbia, and this could be the first of many video games Sony sends to the production company as they continue to be one of the industries most vertically integrated corporations.

 Sources

[1] Sony Pictures Entertainment Executives – Sony Pictures
[2] 1989 Article on Sony Purchase of Columbia – The New York Times
[3] History of Columbia – Sony Pictutes
[4] Google Finance: Columbia Pictures – google.com/finance
[5] Columbia Pictures – Box Office Mojo
[6] American Hustle – Box Office Mojo
[7] American Hustle – IMDB
[8] Monuments Men – Box Office Mojo
[9] Push Back of Monuments Men – Grantland
[10] Monuments Men – IMDB
[11] RoboCop – Box Office Mojo
[12] RoboCop Opening Weekend – Variety
[13] RoboCop – IMDB
[14] The Amazing Spider Man 2 Opening Weekend – Forbes
[15] The Amazing Spider Man 2 – IMDB
[16] 21 Jump Street – Box Office Mojo
[17] 22 Jump Street – IMDB

Photo Sources

Columbia Logo (courtesy truthcontrol.com)
Michael Lynton (courtesy sonypictures.com)
Amy Pascal (courtesy sonypictures.com)
David Hendler (courtesy sonypictures.com)
Michael Deluca (courtesy sonypictures.com)
Charles Sipkuns (courtesy sonypictures.com)
American Hustle Poster – (courtesy boxofficemojo.com)
Monuments Men Poster – (courtesy boxofficemojo.com)
RoboCop Poster – (courtesy boxofficemojo.com)
The Amazing Spider Man 2 Poster – (courtesy sonypictures.com)
22 Jump Street Poster – (courtesy sonypictures.com)

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