PlayStation 4 games, big screen TVs and a Marvel superhero movie lifted entertainment and tech powerhouse Sony to a massive second quarter.
Late Monday Los Angeles time, Sony reported revenue of $18.2 billion and earnings of 92 cents a share for the three months ending September 30, which the company classifies as its fiscal second quarter. That was well ahead of the $16.7 billion in revenue and earnings of 4 cents a share Sony hauled in during the same period last year. Analysts had estimated the company would report $17.6 billion in revenue and earnings of 54 cents a share.
Sony’s video games division, whose operating income grew 188 percent year-over-year behind a surge in PlayStation 4 software sales, and home entertainment, which reported a 39 percent gain in operating income, led the way for the Japanese conglomerate. The company credited a shift in the product line of TVs to higher-value models for the improved performance of the home entertainment segment.
And one quarter after Sony’s pictures division finished in the red — and despite a slow summer box office in general — the studio bounced back behind “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which went on to gross nearly $880 million worldwide after its July 7 release, and “Baby Driver,” another successful mid-year flick. The division earned $68 million in operating income, a 140 percent jump compared with the corresponding quarter last year.
However, Sony did lose its slate financing arrangement with Texas-based LStar Capital earlier this summer, as TheWrap exclusively reported. And even with the blowout success of “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Sony currently ranks fifth out of all studios with 9.4 percent market share.
There have also been changes in its TV business. After losing Sony Pictures Television Presidents Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to Apple in July, the studio tapped former Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins to become its TV chairman earlier this month. And also this past quarter, Sony picked up a majority stake in anime distributor Funimation in a deal that valued the company at about $150 million and gives Sony some of the genre’s most popular titles, including “Dragon Ball Z”, “Cowboy Bebop” and “My Hero Academia.”
Sony’s stock has dipped 5 percent over the last three months but remains up 39 percent year-to-date.
The Sony Hack's Key Players: Where Are They Now? (Photos)
Amy Pascal Sony's co-chairman stepped down in February 2015 and started her own production company, Pascal Pictures, with a four-year contract for funding and distribution through Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). She is producing the all-female "Ghostbusters" film and the "Spider-Man" reboot.
Michael Lynton Lynton remained as chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment until announcing his resignation in January 2017. He installed TriStar Productions chief Tom Rothman as head of Sony's motion picture group.
Steve Mosko Mosko served as the Head of Television Division of Sony Pictures Entertainment from 2001 until October 2015, when he was made Chairman of Sony Pictures Television -- until he announced he was stepping down in June 2016.
Scott Rudin In a hacked email, the producer said Angelina Jolie "was seriously out of her mind" in jostling over David Fincher's next project (either "Steve Jobs" or her planned "Cleopatra"). "I’m not destroying my career over a minimally talented spoiled brat,” he added. Rudin went on to produce "Steve Jobs" -- with director Danny Boyle, not Fincher -- and the underperforming 2016 comedy "Zoolander 2."
Clint Culpepper Screen Gems' president called Kevin Hart a “whore” in an email to a colleague after the actor sought an increase in salary for his personal promotions.
Hart responded, “I worked very hard to get where I am today. I look at myself as a brand and because of that I will never allow myself to be taken advantage of.” Culpepper is still president of the production company.
Angelina Jolie Producer Scott Rudin had harsh words for Jolie regarding her plans to develop a new version of "Cleopatra." The project never came together, but Jolie will soon release "By the Sea," a drama she wrote, directed and stars in with husband Brad Pitt.
Seth Rogen and James Franco The hack revealed that Rogen made $8.4 million for co-directing and acting in "The Interview," while co-star Franco received $6.5 million. The film's overall budget was $44 million and included $241 for a “table of weed, coke, pills and panties," as well as $74,000 for two tigers, their handlers, and special “tiger accommodations.”
Rogen recently starred in "Steve Jobs" and has six more projects lined up, including "Neighbors 2." Franco also has multiple projects in the queue, including directing "The Long Home."
Kevin Hart Screen Gems President Clint Culpepper called Kevin Hart a “whore” in an email to a colleague after the actor sought a salary bump. “I worked very hard to get where I am today," Hart responded. "I look at myself as a brand and because of that I will never allow myself to be taken advantage of.”
The actor just completed "Ride Along 2" for Universal.
David Fincher In an email with the subject line “Well it ain’t ME,” the director who almost directed "Steve Jobs" blames the studio for the many leaks on that film -- compared to the more tight-lipped studios like Fox, with whom he worked on "Gone Girl."
“I had 15 meetings with Rosamund Pike [for "Gone Girl"] and her DEAL CLOSED before Variety OR The [Hollywood] Reporter ever ran a single blurb,” he said. “This is a CONTINUAL PROBLEM WITH SONY." Since then, Fincher has focused on producing Netflix's "House of Cards."
The president of production at Sony, proved true all the gossip that surrounded his taking the studio job. The "Fifty Shades of Grey" producer left Sony in April 2015 shortly after Tom Rothman's promotion and took a producing deal with Universal.
Willow and Jaden Smith Tom Rothman wrote an email to Sony's then-co-chairman Amy Pascal, showing her an interview with the Smith kids and saying, "1. Read this," 2. they r home schooled: don’t let this family date your movies!!!"
However, Jaden filmed "Karate Kid" with Columbia Pictures and there had been talk of a sequel.