by Ian McCourt
Contact Information: [ii]
10202 West Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
Executives Photos and Information Courtesy of: http://www.sonypictures.com/corp/management.html [iii]
About Columbia Pictures:
In 1918, Harry and Jack Cohn formed CBC Film Sales with an associate of theirs, Joe Brandt. CBC Film Sales (Cohn-Brandt-Cohn) then produced small-budget short films and featurettes until a few experiments with feature films and an eye for larger profits prompted them to form Columbia Pictures Corporation in 1924. Columbia established itself in the cinema world, however, with the discovery of director Frank Capra in 1927. He would bring the company many Academy Awards, including the Best Picture films “It Happened One Night” and “You Can’t Take it With You.” Columbia would continue to grow and prosper as the decades moved past, and it was bought by Coca-Cola in 1982. However, a mere seven years later, Columbia Pictures and all of its holdings were bought by the Sony Corporation in 1989. [iv] It is now a part of Sony Pictures Entertainment‘s Columbia Tristar Motion Picture Group, along with Tristar Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics and Screengems. [v]
It is to be noted that Sony’s Financial Reports for the Pictures Division encompasses not only Columbia Pictures, but also the Tristar Pictures and Screengems studios, as well as any TV production and distribution financials. Regardless, Sony Pictures Entertainment reported that revenue decreased 3% on a constant currency (U.S. dollar) standard to 1,671 million dollars for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2014 from 1,815 million for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2013. [vi][vii] This was due to lower theatrical revenues due to fewer theatrical releases in Q2 FY14 as opposed to Q2 FY13. [viii] Sony predicts that the pictures division will make 8,100 million U.S. dollars for the total Fiscal Year ending March 31, 2015. [ix]
What’s Happening Now?
In 2014, Columbia Pictures has released nine films, three of which are still in theaters as of December 1, 2014. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 22 Jump Street are leading in gross so far respectively, with 22 Jump Street still in theaters. [x]
22 Jump Street
This sequel to the hit 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum and follows the adventures of Officers Schmidt and Jenko as they go undercover as college students. The film is directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord.
In The Equalizer, Denzel Washington stars as a man who has put his dark past behind him, only to return to his old ways when he meets a girl who is under the control of Russian gangsters. The film is directed by Antoine Fuqua.
Fury, starring Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, and Shia LaBeouf, tells the tale of an Army Sergeant nicknamed Wardaddy (Pitt) who commands a Sherman tank with a five-man crew against amazing odds in an attempt to cripple Nazi Germany. The film is written and directed by David Ayer.
Ghostbusters (30th Anniversary Re-Release)
To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the 1984 classic, Ghostbusters was back in theaters beginning August 29, 2014. [xviii] It tells the story of three parapsychology professors struggling for work who decide to open up a ghost removal business. It stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Sigourney Weaver. It is directed by Ivan Reitman. [xix]
In Other News:
In early November, Columbia Pictures requested to a Florida federal court that its anti-piracy policies be kept secret. The information on these policies is now in a closed case between Hotfile, a file-sharing site that closed down in 2013, and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). [xxii] Columbia is insisting that if this information were released, it would render the company incapable to protect its copyrighted works. This comes after U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams ruled that the information is in the public interest and should be released. [xxiii]
On November 24, 2014, hackers took control of Sony’s computer systems. A group claiming to be the hackers then criticized Sony CEO Michael Lynton in a tweet, calling him “a criminal.” [xxiv] Since then, versions of five films belonging to Sony Pictures have been released online: Annie, Fury, Still Alice, Mr. Turner, and To Write Love on Her Arms. Of those five films, only Fury has been released in theaters, but even that film hasn’t had a DVD release yet. These films are already reported to have been illegally downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. [xxv] Sony has since hired Mandiant Forensics Unit to clean up the attack, and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations has begun looking into the incident. Sony has been looking to see if the attack was perpetrated by North Korea-backed hackers in retaliation to the upcoming release of the movie, The Interview, which is a comedy about an attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. [xxvii]
What’s To Come:
AnnieOne of the films leaked from the hack, Annie will be released in theaters on December 19, 2014. Starring Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, and Cameron Diaz, this musical film tells of a young foster kid (Wallis) who toughs out the hard knock life of New York City in 2014. While it will be competing against Disney‘s Into The Woods, the film is predicted to make about $95 million. [xxviii]
[i] Columbia Pictures Logo. Retrieved 11/29/2014.
[ii] Sony Pictures Contacts. Retrieved 11/29/2014.
[iii] Sony/Columbia Executives. Retrieved 11/29/2014.
[iv] History of Columbia Pictures. Retrieved 11/29/2014.
[v] Sony Divisions. Retrieved 11/29/2014.
[vi] Sony Financials Q2 FY14. Retrieved 11/30/2014.
[vii] Sony Financials Q2 FY13. Retrieved 11/30/2014.
[viii] Sony Financials Q2 FY14. Retrieved 11/30/2014.
[vix] Sony Predictions. Retrieved 11/30/2014.
[x] Columbia Films 2014. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xi] 22 Jump Street Info. Retrieved 11/30/2014.
[xii] 22 Jump Street Box Office. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xiii] The Equalizer Info. Retrieved 11/30/2014.
[xiv] The Equalizer Box Office. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xv] Fury Info. Retrieved 11/30/2014.
[xvi] Fury Box Office. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xvii] Fury Free for Veterans 11/11. Retrieved 11/30/2014.
[xviii] Ghostbusters Re-release Info. Retrieved 11/30/2014.
[xix] Ghostbusters Info. Retrieved 11/30/2014.
[xx] Ghostbusters Re-release Poster. Retrieved 11/30/2014.
[xxi] Ghostbusters Re-Release Box Office. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xxii] Hotfile Shuts Down. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xxiii] Columbia Anti-Piracy Case. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xxiv] Hackers take Sony. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xxv] Sony Movies Leaked. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xxvi] Hackers Call Out Lynton on Twitter. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xxvii] Sony Responds to Hack. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xxviii] Annie Info. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xxiv] Annie Poster. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xxx] The Interview Info. Retrieved 12/1/2014.
[xxxi] The Interview Poster. Retrieved 12/1/2014.