Sony Pictures

10202 West Washington Boulevard, Culver City, California


Sony Pictures, also known as Sony Pictures Entertainment, was formed in 1987 when Columbia Pictures and Tristar Pictures merged to form Columbia Pictures Entertainment (CPE). However, it was not until two years later that the Coca-Cola Company, who owned CPE, sold the business to Sony, who promptly renamed it. Since it became a Sony property, the film production and distribution company has seen successes in both the commercial and critical spheres; Sony Pictures has broken records with releases like Men In Black and won a plethora of Oscars over the years for films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and many others [1].


Sony Pictures is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment. The company is divided into Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, Sony Pictures Studios, and Sony Pictures Television. Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group handles the distribution of Sony’s massive library of over 3,500 titles. Sony Pictures Studios offers a variety of production-related services, operating out of the Culver City studio complex which boasts sixteen sound stages [2].


Sony Pictures Plaza in Culver City, CA


As of April 17th, 2016, Sony Pictures held a total of 5.6% studio market share, with Sony Pictures holding 5.2% and Sony Pictures Classics holding 0.4% [3]. With regards to distribution, Sony Pictures holds the third spot just behind Warner Brothers and Walt Disney, with 12.6% of the market share [4].

Sony’s earnings report for the current fiscal year will be released on April 28th, 2016 at 4:45 PM [5]. On January 29th, the Sony Corporation released its financial results for its third quarter. Sales for Sony Pictures increased from 206.6 billion yen in the third quarter of 2014 to 262.1 billion yen in the third quarter of 2015. This represents a 26.9% increase in yen, which Sony attributed this increase to a surge in theatrical revenues due to international successes like Spectre and Hotel Transylvania 2 [6]. Top investment analysts are advising investors to hold their position with Sony stock, as forecasts show a predicted 27% median increase from last fiscal year’s stock prices [7].

On April 24th, Sony’s stock prices closed at $26.59, a five-cent decrease from the previous day’s close. Over the past year, Sony shares have reached a high of $32.95 and a low of $19.90 [8]. However, the past month has seen fairly stable stock prices, seeing change of no more than $2 for the entire period from mid-March to late April [9]. As of April 24th Sony shares are up 7% from 2015 [10].


[11] Michael Lynton: CEO of Sony Entertainment Inc., Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment

[12] Tom Rothman: Chairman of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group

[13] David C. Hendler: Senior Executive Vice President and CFO of Sony Pictures Entertainment

[14] Robert Lawson: Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment

[15] Leah Weil: Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Sony Pictures Entertainment


Miracles from Heaven (PG)

Despite receiving a multitude of negative critical reviews [16], the faith-based drama Miracles from Heaven has grossed over $64 million internationally, making it a huge success—its production budget was a mere $13 million. The film was released on March 16th through TriStar, a property of Sony Pictures [17].

The Brothers Grimsby (R)

Though Sony has not released the budget for the film, The Brothers Grimsby has undoubtedly been a financial disappointment. Debuting on March 11th, the movie has yet to break just $7 million in the United States. That being said, the film has been a hit internationally with revenues upwards of $20 million outside the US. With pricey talent such as Sacha Baron Cohen, Penelope Cruz, Rebel Wilson, and Gabourey Sidibe, it’s doubtful Sony has seen a return on investment as of yet [18].

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (PG-13)

This satirical take on the novel was released on February 5th to less-than-enthusiastic reception. Though the film saw a budget of $28 million, it has grossed just $16 million worldwide, with the opening weekend accounting for 48.8% of that [19].


The Angry Birds Movie (PG)

This 3D film adaptation of the popular game will be released on May 20th. Sony Pictures is clearly expecting to cash in on the video game’s massive audience and has invested in a $250 million promotional campaign which includes a Happy Meal promo with McDonald’s and multiple television ads for car company Citroën. Other partnerships consist of Ziploc, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Home Depot, and about 100 more brands and companies [20].

Ghostbusters (PG-13)

The buzz surrounding the remake of Ghostbusters is still going strong. The film features four female stars—Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon—in place of the all-male cast the original film had. The remake has raised important questions regarding women’s roles in popular film. Ghostbusters is slated for theatrical release July 15th [21].


On April 7th, US District Judge R. Gary Klausner approved a multi-million dollar settlement in a class-action lawsuit by previous employees of Sony Pictures. The lawsuit was a result of the cyberhacking incident back in 2014, which released personal information of many employees and Sony partners. The agreement will give the 437,000 people involved identity theft protection until 2017 [22].

HYPEBEAST Giveaway: Autographed Essentials From Nas' HSTRY Clothing x Ghostbusters Capsule Collection

Nas x Ghostbusters Clothing Line

The next day, Sony Pictures announced that their Consumer Marketing department will be working with the rapper Nas to create a high-end Ghostbusters fashion line. The collection, called Nas x Ghostbusters, will be collaborating with brands like FILA, New Era, Monster, HSTRY, Italia Independent, and Tokyobike, and will be exclusively unveiled by HYPEBEAST. The collaborations will help reach the millennial market [23]. Sony Pictures is also teaming up with Activision for a Ghostbusters video game that will operate on PC, iOS, Android, and Kindle [24].

At CinemaCon the week of April 11th, Sony Pictures announced a variety of groundbreaking projects and ideas, most notably MIB 23. The film is a unique concept: a mashup sequel to both Men in Black and 21 Jump Street. Other ambitious projects include animated films like a CGI version of the Beatrix Potter stories of Peter Rabbit and a third installment in the Hotel Transylvania franchise. They also are in the process of developing the animated The Emoji Movie, which will be set inside an iPhone [25].

Sony Pictures is taking a marked interest in sequels and remakes, hoping to capitalize on the popularity of existing films and franchises. There are plans for Blade Runner 2, the follow-up to the original 1982 movie. Then, they are working on a remake of Jumanji, as well as the final film in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. In addition, the company will release a movie version of Stephen King’s wildly popular book The Dark Tower. All the films Sony Pictures teased at the convention are tentatively slated for release between late 2016 and late 2018 [26].


[1] Company History. Sony Pictures. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[2] Divisions. Sony Pictures. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[3] Studio Market Share. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[4] Market Share for Each Distributor 1995-2016. The Numbers. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[5] FY2015 Earnings Announcement. Sony. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[6] Consolidated Financial Results for the Third Quarter Ended December 31, 2015. Sony News & Information. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[7] Equities: Sony Corp. Financial Times. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[8] Sony Corp. ADR. MarketWatch. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
[9] Sony Corp Ord Stock Chart. Nasdaq. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
[10] Sony: Film Slate Ready To Deliver. Seeking Alpha. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[11] Michael Lynton. Sony Pictures. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[12] Tom Rothman. Sony Pictures. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[13] David C. Hendler. Sony Pictures. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[14] Robert Lawson. Sony Pictures. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[15] Leah Weil. Sony Pictures. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[16] Miracles from Heaven: EW Review. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[17] Miracles from Heaven. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[18] The Brothers Grimsby. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[19] Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[22] Judge Approves Settlement in Sony Pictures Hacking Case. Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[24] Sony Pictures Teaming with Activision for New Ghostbusters Game. Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[25] Sony Pictures & Warner Bros Preview 2016-2017 Line-up. Slash Film. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[27] Sony Pictures Logo. JOLT Digest. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[28] Michael Lynton Photo. Jewish Journal. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[29] Tom Rothman Photo. IMDb. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[30] David C. Hendler Photo. Sony Pictures. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[31] Robert Lawson Photo. Sony Pictures. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[32] Leah Weil Photo. Sony Pictures. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[33] Miracles from Heaven Trailer. YouTube: MovieClips Trailers. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[34] The Brothers Grimsby Trailer. YouTube: Sony Pictures Entertainment. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[35] Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Trailer. YouTube: MovieClips Trailers. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[36] The Angry Birds Movie Trailer. YouTube: Google Movie Trailers. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[37] Ghostbusters Trailer. YouTube: Sony Pictures Entertainment. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[38] Nas x Ghostbusters Photo. Hypebeast. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
[39] Sony Pictures Plaza Photo. Wikipedia. Retrieved April 25, 2016.


by Isaac Davis

Formed in 2008 with the merging of Activision and Vivendi Games, Activision Blizzard is the second-largest video game publisher in North America.

Board of Directors
Robert A. Kotick – President and CEO
Jean-Bernard Lévy – Chairman
Brian G. Kelly – Co-Chairman
Philippe G. H. Capron – Director
Robert J. Corti – Director
Frédéric R. Crépin – Director
Lucian Grainge – Director
Robert J. Morgado – Director
Stéphane Roussel – Director
Richard Sarnoff – Director
Régis Turrini – Director

Notable Franchises

  • Call of Duty
  • Guitar Hero
  • Tony Hawk
  • Skylanders
  • Spiderman
  • James Bond
  • Warcraft
  • Starcraft
  • Diablo

Business (January 2012 – May 2012)
Activision Blizzard’s past fiscal year was “better than expected,” earning $4.49 billion, as opposed to $4.48 billion in 2010. Their Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was the top-selling title of the year, with its accompanying Call of Duty Elite service hosting over 7 million registered users and 1.5 million paid subscribers. The new Skylanders toy line/children’s game proved quite successful, selling 20 million toys worldwide1.

World of Warcraft (WoW), however, declined from 11.1 million subscribers to 10.2 million this year, with at least some of the decline being attributed to competitor Electronic ArtsStar Wars: The Old Republic, which released in December 20112.

Following this news, WoW’s development studio, Blizzard Entertainment laid off 600 employees in an “organizational shift,” placing their current staff at around 5,000 worldwide3.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick

In February, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick became a member of Coca-Cola’s board of directors. He had previously been a board member at Yahoo! from 2003 to 20084.

On March 5th, Activision hired Dennis Durkin, former VP and COO of Microsoft, as their new CFO5.

On April 5th, Worlds, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard over the technology used in WoW and Call of Duty (CoD). Worlds holds patents on a “system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space”, and they had, in 2008, filed a lawsuit against NCSoft over their game City of Heroes, though it was dismissed in 20106.

Infinity Ward Controversy

After the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in 2009, Jason West and Vince Zampella, CEOs and co-founders of CoD development studio Infinity Ward, were fired under mysterious circumstances. Infinity Ward and all CoD IP has been owned by Activision since 2003. Activision claims they were fired over “breaches of contract and insubordination”7.

West and Zampella filed a lawsuit against Activision, leveling at least two fraud claims against them. The claims said that in firing them, Activision “fired them to avoid paying millions of dollars in royalties for [Modern Warfare 2]”. On March 5th 2012, one of these claims was dismissed by the California Superior Court. May 7th is the trial date for the remaining claims8.

On March 26th, Robert Bowling, creative strategist for the CoD series, suddenly left Activision after six years as the public face of the brand, with no indication of why he left or where he was headed9. On April 24th, he revealed that he is starting a new, independent development studio called Robotoki. Their first project is slated for “next-gen” consoles (that is, game systems yet to be announced)10.

Release Schedule (2012)
Prototype 2 (Radical Entertainment) – April 24 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
Diablo III (Blizzard Entertainment) – May 15 (PC, Mac OS X)
Battleship (Double Helix Games) – May 15 (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, 3DS, DS)
The Amazing Spider-Man (Beenox) – June 26 (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS Vita 3DS, DS)
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD (Robomodo) – July (PS3, Xbox 360)
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (High Moon Studios) – August 28 (PS3, Xbox 360)
Skylanders: Giants (Toys For Bob) – Fall (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Wii U, PC 3DS, Mac OS X)
Call of Duty 9 [Working Title] (Treyarch) – Q4 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii U, PS Vita, 3DS)


  1. Curtis, Tom. “Activision Blizzard reports better than expected 2011 thanks to MW3, Skylanders”. Gamasutra.
  2. Rose, Mike. “Blizzard: Drop in WoW subs ‘attributable’ to Star Wars: The Old Republic”. Gamasutra.
  3. Caoili, Eric. “Blizzard cuts 600 employees in organizational shift”. Gamasutra.
  4. Curtis, Tom. “Activision CEO Bobby Kotick joins Coca-Cola’s board of directors”. Gamasutra.
  5. Hinkle, David. “Activision hires ex-Microsoft CFO Dennis Durkin”. Joystiq.
  6. Curtis, Tom. World of WarcraftCall of Duty accused of violating virtual worlds patent”. Gamasutra.
  7. Thorsen, Tor. “Top Infinity Ward devs fired for ‘insubordination,’ lawsuits ‘expected'”. Gamespot.
  8. Pettersson, Edvard. “Activision Wins Dismissal of One of Two Former Executives’ Fraud Claims”. Bloomberg.
  9. Navarro, Alex. “Robert Bowling Unexpectedly Announces He is Exiting Activision”. Giant Bomb.
  10. Reilly, Jim. “Robert Bowling Opens Game Studio”. Game Informer.

Picture Credits