Sony Pictures In Last Place At Box Office, 007 To Rescue

Sony Pictures In Last Place At Box Office, 007 To Rescue

$SNE, $LGF, $DIS, $CMCSA

Sony Pictures Studio has fallen to 7th place in domestic box office market share behind the 5 other majors and Lionsgate (NYSE:LGF) with just $247-M in grosses, only 3.74% of the total take.

Globally, Sony has made a weak $564-M.

Industry leader Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has pulled in $1.8-B domestically and more than $5-B worldwide.

And all of Sony’s peers all have released at least 1 film that has earned $300-M worldwide.

Sony’s highest-grossing movie this year is Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, topped out at only $104-M.

The movies Amy Pascal shepherded have determined the studio’s Y 2015 standing, she is no longer at the in charge there.

Last February Ms. Pascal transitioned into a 4-year production deal worth as much as $40-M, she admitted later that was fired. It widely was assumed that she took the fall for her handling of the destructive computer hack that hit Sony on 26 November 2014, as well as her embarrassing emails that it exposed.

Amy Pascal ran Sony’s Columbia Pictures since Y 1996 and had headed the motion picture group since Y 2003 with lots of successes. As recently as Y 2012, the studio, thanks to movies like the James Bond entry Skyfall, The Amazing Spider-Man and Men in Black 3, led its rivals in market share.

But even though it grossed $758-M worldwide, Sony’s latest Spider-Man entry was considered a disappointment by Sony, forcing the studio to rethink the franchise and eventually partner with Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) Marvel Studios to reboot it.

Then a string of Y 2013 movies like Will Smith’s ‘After Earth’, Channing Tatum’s ‘White House Down’ and Matt Damon’s ‘Elysium’ all came DOA, Chairman Lynton and Ms. Pascal came under increasing pressure both to cut costs and establish bankable franchises, they could not do it, and Y 2014 ended disastrously: The studio’s big holiday film, the family musical ‘Annie’, took just $134-M worldwide, while Seth Rogen and James Franco’s ‘The Interview’ saw its theatrical potential cut short thanks to the hack, the ensuing threats and the major theater chains’ refusal to show it.

Ms. Pascal was sacked. and a new marketing and distribution team came aboard, but Pascal’s slate was weak and there was little to work with.

This YTD, the studio released ‘The Wedding Ringer’ that took just $80-M worldwide, ‘Chappie’ took $102-M,  ‘Aloha’ from Cameron Crowe, got only $24-M, and the ‘Mall Cop 2′, while  profitable, has been overshadowed by comedies like Melissa McCarthy’s ‘Spy’ and ‘Ted 2′. And Adam Sandler’s Pixels is a major disappointment this Summer.

Heading into 2-H of the year, Sony’s fortunes will depend on a mix of Ms. Pascal’s legacy movies and efforts of the new team there.

The James Bond adventure Spectre, which Sony produced with MGM and Eon, arrives 6 November  will be a sure hit. The rest of the slate is iffy.

Sony Pictures Studio is a unit of Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE)

Symbol Last Trade Date Change Open High Low Volume
NYSE:SNE 29.54 29 July 2015 0.30 29.33 29.61 29.33 985,100
HeffX-LTN Analysis for SNE: Overall Short Intermediate Long
Neutral (-0.01) Neutral (-0.13) Neutral (0.19) Neutral (-0.10)

Have some fun, see a movie this week.

HeffX-LTN

Paul Ebeling

 

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