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'Spider-Man'-Less Sony Pictures Posts $96 Million Q1 Loss

30 Jul, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sony Pictures July 30 reported a first-quarter (ended June 30) operating loss of $96 million, compared with operating income of nearly $63 million during the prior-year period. Revenue topped $1.4 billion, which was down about 26% from nearly $1.9 billion in revenue a year ago.

The culprits: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 22 Jump Street. Both titles figured significantly at the box office a year ago for Sony. The Marvel superhero title generated about $203 million domestically ($709 million globally), and the "Jump Street" sequel collected $192 million ($331 million).

Both titles performed well at retail with Spider-Man 2 generating more than $44 million in disc sales, and 22 Jump Street collecting $22 million, according to The-Numbers.com.

Flash-forward to the present and Sony’s top box office release (through July) Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has generated about $71 million domestically ($104 million globally). The title was released at retail July 14.

No. 2: The Wedding Ringer, which generated less than $80 million at the global box office, has sold less than $6 million in discs since its April 28 release.

Indeed, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s top-selling 2015 release remains The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington. The 2014 title has sold nearly $33 million worth of discs since its Dec. 30 release. Runner-up is Brad Pitt’s World War 2 tank drama Fury, which has sold $25 million in discs since its Jan. 27 retail release.

Sony also attributed the fiscal decline to lower television license agreements when compared with last year’s Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 and Captain Phillips.

Meanwhile, media reports suggest a standalone Spider-Man reboot is on track for theatrical release in 2017. Sony earlier this year canceled production of The Amazing Spider-Man 3. The webslinger reportedly is slated to appear next year in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, which is distributed by Walt Disney Studios. 

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