... 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.