Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sony's Woes

The Culver City Studio has seen better times.

... More than halfway through 2015, Sony barely is hanging on at the box office.

The studio has fallen to seventh place in domestic market share — behind the five other majors and Lionsgate — with a mere $247 million in grosses, just 3.74 percent of the total pie. Globally, Sony has made a weak $564 million. (By comparison, leader Universal Pictures has pulled in $1.8 billion domestically and more than $5 billion worldwide.)

As its peers all have released at least one film that has earned $300 million worldwide, Sony's highest-grossing movie, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, topped out at only $104 million. Its latest attempt to create a homegrown tentpole, Adam Sandler's Pixels, isn't reversing that downward trajectory.

Happily, Sony Pictures Animation, after years as one of the weaker players creating feature-length animation, has had a turnaround of late. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballss did well, although the directors who helped make it a hit opted to move on to other studios. And Hotel Transylvania, directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, was a crowd pleaser.

HT2 rolls out September 25th, and might turn Sony's sorry fortunes around. We can certainly hope so.

Add On: The trades tell of the specific financials:

Sony beat analyst estimates with a 38.8% increase in operating profit for the first quarter of 2015, but its pictures division incurred a $96M loss with no breakout hits released during the period. Revenues overall were flat, largely down to a decrease in smartphopne and LCD TV sales which were offset by foreign exchange rates.


Grant said...

The success of the Hotel Transylvania stuff has FAR more to do with SAdam Sandler and Robert Smigel, as everyone know's. Gennady isn't really a storyteller, but more of just an animation director. And though the studio regularly confers with both Sandler and Smigel ( and though Sandler has the bigger name), Smigel has more to do with the actual direction of the film.

tbrunojr said...

What a load of $%@&! This is so out of left field it's not worth responding to. When Sir Rothman finally allows Genndy to direct his own film without sticking his finger too much in it, the proof will be in the puddin'. It will be plain as day wherefrom the HT/HT2 storytelling came (not to mention, the good ideas, the funnier gags, etc.). We all know animated films are too steeped in the tradition of direction by committee. Why not allow a true visionary a bit of leash and see where it takes you? C'mon Tom, it WILL be cheaper! It will also be a hell of a lot better.

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