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Sony Pictures Posts $920 Million Q3 Loss

2 Feb, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

As expected, Sony Pictures Feb. 2 reported losses of $920 million in the third quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2016) on revenue of more than $1.9 billion, which was down from $2.3 billion during the previous-year period (excluding foreign exchange).

The studio, which cited lower theatrical revenue, offset in part by higher subscription video-on-demand (i.e. Netflix) licensing revenue in the quarter, generated a $181 million operating profit last year.

Sony Corp. Jan. 30 announced it would write down $962 million attributed to the studio’s fiscal loss, which it also blamed on lower home entertainment revenue. Sony is projecting an operating loss of 83 billion yen ($73.8 million) for the fiscal year ending March 31, mainly due to the impairment charge.

Regardless of the declining state of entertainment retail for movies, music and video games, Sony Pictures continues to be undermined by an underperforming film slate.

Box office results in the quarter failed to compete with last year’s hits Spectre and Hotel Transylvania 2, which generated more than $1.3 billion in combined ticket sales. Sony's top-grossing worldwide theatrical release in 2016, The Angry Birds Movie, earned $349.8 million on a budget of $73 million. Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, Sony’s top-grossing theatrical release domestically in 2016, generated just $229 million on a budget of $144 million.

Top-grossing theatrical releases in the quarter included Inferno ($220 million globally) and Passengers ($103 million), compared with Spectre ($851 million), Goosebumps ($119 million), The Night Before ($51 million) and Concussion ($17 million) in the previous-year period.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment top releases in the quarter — based on gross revenue from DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and digital distribution, which includes electronic sellthrough, transactional video-on-demand, cable VOD, hotel pay-per-view and satellite, included Final Fantasy XV: Kingsglaive ($2.4 million), Preacher: Season 1, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call ($23.9 million), Outlander: Season 2, Sausage Party, Better Call Saul: Season 2, Don’t Breathe, The Hollars, The Magnificent Seven and When The Bough Breaks, according to The-Numbers.com.

By comparison, SPHE’s top releases in the previous-year period included: Insidious: Chapter 3, Justified: The Complete Series, Testament of Youth ($440,000), Pixels ($17.3 million), The Final Girls ($967,000), Better Call Saul: Season 1, Ricki and the Flash, War Room ($39 million) and The Perfect Guy ($6.4 million).


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