Sony Pictures Entertainment has recorded a $51M profit for the third quarter ending December 31, 2019. This is down 50% from the $102M Q3 profit it saw in the comparable period of 2018 which had benefited from the global success of Venom.
Sony cited overall lower revenues for its theatrical films in the quarter versus 2018. Among the titles that released during the period in 2019 were the underperforming Charlie’s Angels. However, Jumanji: The Next Level has been strong worldwide with $755M to date. Given it came out in mid-December, the Dwayne Johnson sequel’s impact will also be felt in Q4. January release Bad Boys For Life is still in theaters after breaking opening records last month and will be attributable to the next results. The Will Smith-starrer currently sits at $291M worldwide.
The pictures division also saw lower television and home entertainment licensing in Q3, partially offset by higher sales of The Crown’s Season 3. There was no overall forecast change for the full fiscal year in the pictures arm which is eyeing a $643M profit. Through March, Sony will release Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island and Vin Diesel-starrer Bloodshot.
Sony Pictures is coming off of a Q2 that posted a 73% jump in profits to $366M. That included the summer swagger of Marvel sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
Combined revenue for Sony Corp increased by 3% to $22.6B versus the same period in 2018. Profits for Q3, however, fell by 46% to $2.1B. The electronics and entertainment giant said today in Tokyo that the culprits were significant decreases in operating income from the music division owing to a remeasurement gain after the consolidation of EMI in Q3 2018, and in the game and network services segment.
The conglomerate however increased its full year profit forecast to $8.1B (880B yen) from 840B yen when it reported Q2 earnings in October. That’s due to higher-than-expected sales primarily in the financial services and imaging & sensing solutions segments, as well as an expected decrease in operating loss in other areas.
Activist investor Daniel Loeb recently again urged Sony to continue selling off non-strategic assets, insisting that the media and entertainment businesses can “stand alone.” In a letter to investors last week, he commended Sony for strong returns in 2019 but said his Third Point needs to take a hard look at its portfolio.