Sony Pictures Courses To $107M Q3 Profit Boosted By ‘Venom’

Sony Pictures

Notably boosted by the theatrical strength of Venom, Sony Pictures saw an improved third quarter for the fiscal year 2018, rising to 11.6B yen ($106.5M) in profits versus 10.5B yen in the comparable period of 2017.

The Pictures division logged a 6% increase in sales to 276.7B yen ($2.54B) due in part to the muscular performance of Venom which broke domestic and global October opening records and clicked with audiences worldwide, making $855M and becoming the No. 6 movie of 2018. Sony also cited higher television licensing revenues for catalogue titles, but a decrease in sales for TV productions due to lower licensing revenues for U.S. series. Overall, profits were impacted by programming write-offs and severance expenses related to a review of the channel portfolio within Media Networks.

Pictures is still seen hitting 50B yen ($459M) in profit for the fiscal year ending March 31. Sony has Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse still in release with Japan (a big webslinger market) to come in March. The Oscar nominated animation made $225M worldwide through December 31. Coming up later in the year are Men In Black: International, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood, The Angry Birds Movie 2, Charlie’s Angels, Masters Of The Universe and the Jumanji follow-up.

Reporting full results for the three months ended December 31, 2018 in Tokyo Friday morning, Sony Corp said its net profits were 429B yen ($3.8B), a 45% hike on Q3 2017. Overall, that was aided by gains in the music segment following Sony’s acquisition of EMI. Revenue, however, was off by 10% on a yen basis, resulting in $21.3B for the quarter.

Operating income in the music division was 147.1B yen ($1.35B) from just 39.3B yen ($361M) the previous year. Sony put this down to a “remeasurement gain” resulting from the consolidation of EMI. In May 2018, Sony said it had reached an agreement to acquire a 60% stake in EMI Music Publishing. The deal was closed in November.

Games and Network Services saw an increase in sales but a dip in profits — to 73.1B yen ($671M) due to a decrease in PlayStation 4 hardware sales and the negative impact of foreign exchange rates. Game software sales were up, however.

Full-year net profit forecasts for all of Sony Corp were bumped up to 835B yen ($7.7B), repping an 18.4% increase for the fiscal year through March.

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