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.