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 .
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 .
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% . With regards to distribution, Sony Pictures holds the third spot just behind Warner Brothers and Walt Disney, with 12.6% of the market share .
Sony’s earnings report for the current fiscal year will be released on April 28th, 2016 at 4:45 PM . 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 . 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 .
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 . 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 . As of April 24th Sony shares are up 7% from 2015 .
Miracles from Heaven (PG)
Despite receiving a multitude of negative critical reviews , 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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
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 .
UPDATES AND DEVELOPMENTS
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 .
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 . Sony Pictures is also teaming up with Activision for a Ghostbusters video game that will operate on PC, iOS, Android, and Kindle .
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 .
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 .