Sony Film Unit Profit Plummets 34 Percent With Weak ‘The Walk,’ ‘Brothers Grimsby’

Full-year operating income appears rough when compared to 2014’s home releases, like “Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “22 Jump Street”

Last Updated: April 28, 2016 @ 4:48 AM

Sony’s film unit’s full-year 2015 profit dropped 34 percent, partially due to lackluster box office performances by “The Walk” and “The Brothers Grimsby.” It sure didn’t help that the year’s home releases were compared to 2014’s strong “Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “22 Jump Street” offerings.

Overall at the parent company, sales decreased 1.3 percent for the entire 12-month measured period. The Mobile Communications segment — down 20 percent — was most to blame there. It could have been worse, but strong PlayStation 4 game sales helped offset some of the declines.

The good news is that operating income at the Japanese company increased about $2.6 million, despite disappointing results in the movie and TV unit. Plus, the electronics and entertainment corporation returned to an overall profit this year, and investors shouldn’t care (too much) about how or where the income outweighed the costs.

The motion pictures unit saw 6.8 percent sales growth, as the small-screen covered the big-screen a bit. “Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul” and “The Blacklist” on SVOD brought in a few bucks — but obviously not enough to save the bottom line. Back at the box office, “Spectre” and “Hotel Transylvania 2” did well, but not well enough to overcome the slate’s many weak links.

Sony’s Music wing sung a better tune, as Adele’s “25,” One Direction’s “Made in the A.M.” and David Bowie‘s “Blackstar” paved the way for a more successful year than the previous one. Sales rose 10.4 percent and operating income jumped 44.1 percent for the full year.

SNE shares, which closed yesterday down 16 cents apiece, have been fairly level in after-hours trading. The U.S. stock markets open this morning at 9:30 a.m. ET.