Who you gonna call? While Sony recorded its biggest annual operating profit since 2007 with a 329% jump to $2.6B, the Pictures division took a 34.2% hit, down to $341M. Those earnings felt the impact of lower home entertainment sales as well as foreign exchange rates and the underperformance of high-wire drama The Walk ($61M global cume) and comedy The Brothers Grimsby ($25M). Sales and operating revenue were up 6.8%.
The theatrical performances of Spectre ($881M) and Hotel Transylvania 2 ($470M) helped offset a dip in film sales which was the result of a decrease in home entertainment revenues compared to the previous fiscal year which included The Amazing Spider-Man 2, 22 Jump Street and Heaven Is For Real. Television production sales benefitted from higher SVOD revenues for Breaking Bad, The Blacklist and Better Call Saul.
The Pictures division is forecast to see operating income for fiscal 2016-2017 of $386M and an increase in sales of 7.7%. Major releases on the docket for the coming year include The Angry Birds Movie, Ghostbusters and The Dark Tower.
In reporting its results for the fiscal year ended March 31, Sony held back a full-year forecast for some divisions in order to assess damage from the recent earthquake at its Kumamoto facility. The increased overall profit was the result of cost cutting in its smartphone business and high demand for the PlayStation4. Games and Network Services were up 84.3% with operating income at $785M.