Sony Pictures Profit Jumps to $212 Million Despite Film Delays

Studio garnered a paltry $13 million box office haul thanks to theater closings

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Sony reported earnings for its fiscal third-quarter late Tuesday and garnered a profit of $212 million at its Sony Pictures division, though its overall revenue took a dip as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the film industry.

The pictures segment, which includes the motion picture business, TV, media networks, and home entertainment, pulled in $1.8 billion in revenue during the third quarter, the company said. Last year during the same three-month period, Sony reported $2.2 billion in revenue and $51 million in profit.

Sony Pictures, which only put out four films during the quarter, grossed just $13 million at the global box office, a fraction of the $817 million from the same quarter a year ago, which featured blockbusters like “Jumanji: The Next Level” and “Zombieland: Double Tap” and “Little Women.”

The company, like many others in Hollywood over the last year, has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and has continued to push its theatrical releases to later in the year in the hopes that enough of the country can be vaccinated by then.

Sony expects film sales to remain lower than normal next quarter as theaters remain largely closed, especially in New York and Los Angeles, and more films continue to be delayed. Last month, Sony pushed back another big wave of releases out of the first quarter of 2021, including the Marvel movie “Morbius,” the video game adaptation “Uncharted,” Camila Cabello’s “Cinderella” and the next “Ghostbusters” film.

The motion picture business contributed $504 million to the segment’s overall revenue, far less than the $930 million from the year-ago quarter. Home entertainment contributed $149 million, while TV distribution of its films accounted for $293 million.

Sony’s TV production business generated $723 million in revenue, and media networks accounted for $601 million.

Across the wider Japan-based company the electronics conglomerate reported net income of $2.8 billion (JPY297.35 billion) and revenue of $25.7 billion (JPY2,696.5 billion).

Sony also reported that 4.5 million units of its newly-released PlayStation 5 were sold during the quarter.

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