Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California
|Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc. (1987-1991)|
December 21, 1987 as Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc. |
August 7, 1991 as Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.
|Headquarters||10202 West Washington Boulevard, Culver City, California, United States|
Number of employees
|est. 3,500 (2016)|
Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (known simply as Sony Pictures and abbreviated as SPE) is an American entertainment company that produces, acquires and distributes filmed entertainment (theatrical motion pictures, television programs, and recorded videos) through multiple platforms. Through an intermediate holding company called Sony Film Holding Inc., it is operated as a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., which is itself a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a wholly owned subsidiary and the US headquarters of the Tokyo-based multinational technology and media conglomerate Sony Corporation. Based in Culver City, California, it encompasses Sony's motion picture, television production and distribution units. Its group sales in the fiscal year 2017 (April 2017 – March 2018) has been reported to be of $9.133 billion.
Sony Pictures' film franchises include The Karate Kid, Ghostbusters, Spider-Man, Stuart Little, Men in Black, Underworld, Robert Langdon, The Smurfs (via Peyo), Sniper, Hotel Transylvania, Jumanji and many more.
On September 1, 1987, The Coca-Cola Company announced plans to spin off its assets of Columbia Pictures, which it had owned since 1982. Under this arrangement, Coca-Cola would sell its entertainment assets to TriStar Pictures, of which it owned 39.6%. Tri-Star would be renamed to Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc. (CPE), with Coca-Cola owning 49%, its shareholders owning 31%, and Tri-Star's shareholders owning 20%. A new company was formed in early 1988 with the Tri-Star name to take over the studio's operations.
On September 28, 1989, Sony obtained an option to purchase all of The Coca-Cola Company's stock (approximately 54 million shares or 49% of the outstanding shares) in CPE for $27 per share. The next day, Sony also announced that it reached an agreement with Guber-Peters Entertainment Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: GPEC; formerly Barris Industries, Inc.) to acquire CPE for $200 million when Sony hired Peter Guber and Jon Peters to be its co-chairmen. This was all led by Norio Ohga, who was the president and CEO of Sony during that time.
The hiring of Guber and Peters by Sony to run Columbia was conflicted by a previous contract the producers had signed at Warner Bros. Time Warner's chairman, Steve Ross, threatened Sony with a lawsuit for breach of contract. The lawsuit would be subsequently dropped when Sony sold half-interest in Columbia House and cable distribution rights to Columbia's feature films, TV movies, and miniseries to Warner Bros. Said agreement also saw Columbia sell its 35% interest in the Burbank Studios and acquired Lorimar Studios, previously the MGM lot, from Warner Bros.
On October 31, 1989, Sony completed a friendly takeover bid for the rest of shares (51%) of CPE, which was a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: KPE), and acquired 99.3% of the common stock of the company. On November 8, 1989, Sony completed the acquisition by a "short-form" merger of its wholly owned subsidiary Sony Columbia Acquisition Corporation into CPE under Delaware law. Sony also completed a tender offer for shares of common stock of the Guber-Peters Entertainment Company on November 6, 1989 and acquired the company 3 days later. The acquisition cost Sony $4.9 billion ($3.55 billion for shares and $1.4 billion of long-term debt) and was backed (financed) by five major Japanese banks Mitsui, Tokyo, Fuji, Mitsubishi and Industrial Bank of Japan. The company was renamed Sony Pictures Entertainment on August 7, 1991.
Sony has since created numerous other film production and distribution units, such as creating Sony Pictures Classics for art-house fare, by forming Columbia TriStar Pictures (also known as the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group) by merging Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures in 1998, revitalizing Columbia's former television division Screen Gems. It expanded its operations on April 8, 2005, when a Sony-led consortium acquired the legendary Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, in a US$4.8 billion leveraged buyout, through the holding company MGM Holdings Inc.
On June 4, 2008, SPE's wholly owned group 2JS Productions B.V. acquired Dutch production company 2waytraffic N.V., famous for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and You Are What You Eat for £114.3 million ($223.2 million in US dollars).
On November 18, 2012, Sony Pictures announced it has passed $4 billion with the success of releases: Skyfall, The Amazing Spider-Man, 21 Jump Street, Men in Black 3, Hotel Transylvania, Underworld: Awakening, The Vow, and Resident Evil: Retribution. On November 21, 2013, SPE and Sony Entertainment's CEO Michael Lynton announced that SPE will shift emphasis from movies to television by cutting its 2014 film slate. It was also announced on the same day, that there will be more Spider-Man sequels and spin-offs, though in February 10, 2015, Sony Pictures eventually signed a deal with Marvel Studios to allow Spider-Man to appear in Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning with Captain America: Civil War before appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming scheduled to released in July 7, 2017.
On January 22, 2014, SPE folded its technology unit into the various cores of its businesses. In April, Sony Pictures arranged a film financing deal worth $200 million with LStar Capital, the credit venture of Lone Star Capital and CitiBank, half in debt and the other in equity to fund most of SPE's film slate for several years. SPE was originally considering a $300 million deal with Blue Anchor Entertainment, led by Bloom Hergott partner John LaViolette and former investment banker & producer Joseph M. Singer, and backed by Longhorn Capital Management and Deutsche Bank, which was held up by regulatory matters.
On February 6, 2014, Columbia TriStar Warner Filmes de Portugal Ltda., a joint venture with Warner Bros. which distributed films from both companies in Portugal, announced that they will close their offices on March 31. Sony Pictures films are distributed in Portugal by Big Picture Films since then. Ironically, Warner Bros. itself currently distributes Sony Pictures films in Italy.
As a result of reevaluating the assets of the motion pictures and television productions businesses (capitalized film costs, including the value of the film library mostly recorded at the 1989 acquisition of CPE), Sony recorded a $962 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge in SPE in the third quarter of 2016.
On July 3, 2018, Sony accidentally uploaded the film Khali the Killer on YouTube in its entirety. The film stayed up for several hours before being removed.
In November 2014, the Sony Pictures computer network was compromised by a group of hackers named Guardians of Peace, disabling many computers. Later the same week, five of Sony Pictures' movies were leaked, including some not yet released (such as Fury and Annie), as well as confidential data about 47,000 current and former Sony employees. Film historian Wheeler Winston Dixon suggested that the hack, which exposed the inner workings of the studio, was "not a pretty picture," and served as a "wake-up call to the entire industry." The hack also revealed some other documents, emails between Hollywood moguls referring to Barack Obama's cinematic tastes, a possible partnership with Marvel Studios for the inclusion of the superhero Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, which was later confirmed on February 2015, amongst others. On December 16, the hackers issued a warning to moviegoers, threatening to attack anyone who sees The Interview during the holidays and urging people to "remember the 11th of September 2001". On December 17, 2014, Sony cancelled the previously planned December 25 release of The Interview in response to hacker threats.
On February 24, 2015, Tom Rothman was named chairman of SPE's motion picture group to replace Amy Pascal.
On April 16, 2015, WikiLeaks published over 30,287 documents, 173,132 e-mails, and 2,200 corporate e-mail addresses of Sony Pictures' employees. WikiLeaks said in a press release that the content of the leaks were "newsworthy and at the center of a geo-political conflict" and belonged "in the public domain". Sony Pictures later condemned the hack and subsequent leaks, calling it a "malicious criminal act", while also criticizing WikiLeaks for describing the leaked content as public domain.
Seth Rogen has expressed doubts about North Korea being responsible for the 2014 Sony hack. Based on the timeline of events and the amount of information hacked, he believes the hack may have been conducted by a Sony employee.
Senior management team
List of holdings
Motion Pictures and Home Entertainment
- Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group: formerly Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group With a library of more than 4,000 films (including 12 Academy Award for Best Picture winners), as of 2004 this unit of Sony distributes about 22 films a year under its various studio brands in 67 countries. The group owns studio facilities in the United States, Hong Kong, Madrid, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Japan. In addition to the company-owned brands below, Sony Pictures also has a contract to distribute select films by MGM and UA.
- Columbia Pictures: Founded in 1924 by Harry Cohn, Sony acquired the studio in 1989 from The Coca-Cola Company for $3.4 billion.
- TriStar Pictures: Formed in 1982 as a joint venture between Columbia Pictures, HBO, and CBS. Became part of The Coca-Cola Company in December 1987 and the Sony ownership in 1989. Was relaunched in 2004 as a marketing and acquisitions unit that specializes in the genre and independent films.
- Screen Gems: Originally Columbia's animation division and later a television production company best known for TV's Bewitched and The Partridge Family, as well as bringing The Three Stooges short subjects to TV in 1958. Sony revived the Screen Gems brand to develop mid-priced movies (production budget of between $20 million and $50 million) in specific genres such as science fiction, horror, black cinema and franchise films.
- Sony Pictures Classics (SPC): Specializes in acquiring some distribution rights to art-house independent and foreign films as well as producing lower-budget productions geared to limited audiences in select territories.
- Sony Pictures Imageworks
- Sony Pictures Animation
- Sony Pictures Releasing: Founded in 1994 as a successor to Triumph Releasing Corporation. The unit handles distribution, marketing, and promotion for films produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment; including Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Classics, among others.1
- Sony Pictures Releasing International (formerly Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International)
- Sony Pictures India: A production house established by Sony to release Indian movies and distribute Hollywood movies released under Columbia Pictures.
- Sony Pictures Releasing International (formerly Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International)
- Sony Pictures Home Entertainment: Founded in 1978 as Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. Currently manufactures and distributes the Sony film and television libraries on Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, DVD, VHS, UMD and digital download
- Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA): A Sony division which acquires and produces about 60 films per year for a wide variety of distribution platforms, especially for non-theatrical markets. It had been called Worldwide SPE Acquisitions, Inc. until September 2010.
- Destination Films: A motion picture company which currently specializes in action, thriller, sci-fi, niche and low-end to medium-end horror films was purchased by Sony in 2001.
- Stage 6 Films: A direct-to-video label created in 2007. Also releases some films theatrically.
- Affirm Films: A motion picture label launched in 2008 to release gospel and Christian films.
- Funimation Films (95%)
U.S. Production and distribution
- Sony Pictures Television: (formerly Columbia TriStar Television Group) The successor-in-interest to Columbia's television division (first Screen Gems, later Columbia Pictures Television, TriStar Television, and Columbia TriStar Television), as of 2004 the unit was producing 60 titles for various television outlets globally. Contains a library that includes more than 35,000 episodes of more than 270 television series and 22,000 game show episodes under the Sony Pictures Television brand, and the television rights to the Embassy Pictures library (including The Graduate and The Lion in Winter) and also the owner of the television division "Embassy Television"—among most recent notable shows in this library are Seinfeld, King of Queens, Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless. Their former international distribution division, Sony Pictures Television International, was responsible for global distribution for the SPE film and television properties worldwide. Formerly known as Columbia TriStar International Television from 1992 to 2002.
- Culver Entertainment
- Embassy Row: A television and digital production company by Michael Davies. SPT acquired the company on January 14, 2009.
- TriStar Television: Originally launched in 1986 and folded in 1988. Relaunched in 1991 and became in-name-only in 1999. Relaunched again in 2015 as a production label within SPT.
- Funimation (95%): A U.S. distributor of anime.
- Giant Ape Media
- 2waytraffic: Acquired by Sony in 2008, this television production company owns a number of formats, most notably including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
- Electric Ray: Founded by Karl Warner with SPT in January 2014.
- Huaso: A Chinese joint venture production company launched in 2004 by Sony Pictures Television International and Hua Long Film Digital Production Co., Ltd. of the China Film Group in Beijing.
- Lean-M Producers Center: A Russian production company founded in 2000 by Timur Weinstein, Vyacheslav Murugov and Oleg Osipov. In 2007, SPTI acquired a majority stake in Lean-M, with an additional 16% on April 13, 2009 and the remainder in 2010.
- Left Bank Pictures: A UK production company founded by Andy Harries, Francis Hopkinson, and Marigo Kehoe in 2007. Majority stake acquired by SPT in 2012.
- Playmaker Media: An Australian production company acquired by SPT in 2014.
- Stellify Media: A joint venture between SPT, Kieran Doherty, and Matt Worthy launched in 2014 for Northern Ireland.
- Cine Sony Television
- Sony Crackle (formerly known as Grouper Networks): Sony Crackle is the digital streaming platform of Sony Pictures. It also hosts videos on YouTube, Hulu, Dailymotion, and its own site. Crackle is operated by SPT.
- FunimationNow (95%): FunimationNow is the subscription video-on-demand service of Funimation Productions. It streams Japanese anime and Japanese/Asian cinema/TV titles licensed by the company as well as several simulcast titles licensed exclusively by Crunchyroll.
- GSN: (joint venture with AT&T)
- Sony Movie Channel
- Animax: Instituted in Japan by Sony in 1998, Animax is the world's largest anime television network, with respective networks operating across Japan, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and formerly South Asia, South America, Africa and other regions.
- AXN: Formed in 1997, AXN is Sony's entertainment television network, which airs across Japan, Asia, Latin America and Europe.
- Sony ONE
- Sony Channel
- Sony GEM
- CSC Media Group: Acquired by SPT in August 2014.
- Film1: Acquired by SPT in July 2015 from Liberty Global.
- Sony Entertainment Television
- Sony Pictures Networks: A subsidiary based in India. Sony Entertainment Television (India) and SAB TV are its main brands. It also owns many other companies and brands under the Sony brand.
- Viasat 3 and Viasat 6: Acquired by SPT in February 2015 from Modern Times Group in Hungary.
Other Sony Pictures operations
- Ghost Corps: Oversees projects relating to the Ghostbusters franchise, including future films, television shows, and merchandising.
- Madison Gate Records
- Sony Pictures Family Entertainment Group
- Sony Pictures Consumer Products
- Sony Pictures Interactive
- Sony Pictures Cable Ventures, Inc.
- Sony Pictures Studios: The actual physical buildings, land and movie-making equipment properties in Culver City, California. Includes 22 sound stages, ranging in size from 7,600 to 43,000 square feet (700 to 4,000 m²)
- Sony Pictures Plaza
- Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan (SPEJ): The company plans, produces, manufactures, sells, imports, exports, leases, broadcasts and distributes movies, TV programs, videos and audio-visual software in Japan. The company website says it was established on February 10, 1984, predating Sony's acquisition of Columbia Pictures Entertainment by 5 years. SPEJ was formed in 1991 through the merger of Columbia TriStar Japan, RCA-Columbia Pictures Video Japan, and Japan International Enterprises. Based in Tokyo, Japan.
- Sony Pictures Europe: Offices located at 25 Golden Square, London, England
- Sony Pictures Studios Post Production Facilities
- Worldwide Product Fulfillment
- ^ Sony Pictures Releasing became Sony Pictures' current film distributor since 1994.
- Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.: Private Company Information
- "Supplemental Information for the Consolidated Financial Results for the Fourth Quarter Ended March 31, 2018" (PDF). Tokyo, Japan: Sony Corporation. 2018-04-27. p. 10. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
- "About Sony Pictures". Sony Pictures Entertainment. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. is a wholly owned fifth-tier subsidiary of Sony Corporation. It is directly owned by Sony Film Holding Inc., a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Sony Americas Holding Inc., a subsidiary of Sony Corporation. (FY2015 Securities Report (in Japanese), Sony Corporation)
- "Our Story". MPAA.
- Dick, Bernard F. (1992) "Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio" (p. 46). The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1769-0.
- "New York Department of State Division of Corporations - Entity Search: Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc". Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "State of New York Division of Corporations - Entity Search: Tri-Star Pictures, Inc". Retrieved August 5, 2013.
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- Medavoy, Mike and Young, Josh (2002). You're Only as Good as Your Next One: 100 Great Films, 100 Good Films, and 100 for Which I Should Be Shot (p. 210). New York City: Atria Books
- Rudolph B (1994) So many dreams so many losses. Time vol. 144, no. 22 (November 28, 1994)
- Griffin N, Masters K (1996) Hit and Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood. (Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0-684-83266-6)
- Nathan, J. (1999) Sony: The Private Life. (Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-89327-5, ISBN 0-618-12694-5)
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- Sony will purchase MGM in a deal worth about $5 billion, CNN, September 14, 2004.
- MGM Disclosure Statement page 424 (Appendix D: Audited Financial Statement. March 2009, page 6), October 7, 2010
- "Sony Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended March 31, 2008" (PDF).
- "Sony Pictures Website Hacked, 1 Million Accounts Exposed". mashable.com.
- Finke, Nikki (November 18, 2012). "'Skyfall's $669.2M Global Helps Sony Pictures Post Best Ever $4B Worldwide".
- David Lieberman. "Sony Pictures Vows To Cut Costs $250M+ Through 2016". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 23, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- David Lieberman. "Sony Pictures To Shift Emphasis From Movies To TV, Will Cut Film Output For 2014". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- Nellie Andreeva. "From Pariah To Company MVP: The Quiet Rise Of Sony's Television Division". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- David Lieberman. "Sony TV Execs Talk Up Global Opportunities". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- David Lieberman. "Sony Pictures Plans More Spider-Man Sequels And Spinoffs – But Still No Marvel Reunion". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "Sony Pictures Entertainment Brings Marvel Studios Into The Amazing World Of Spider-Man" (Press release). Marvel. Retrieved 2017-02-11.
- "Layoffs Hit Sony Pictures As SPE Absorbs Technology Unit". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
- Fleming, Mike, Jr (April 8, 2014). "Sony Closes Slate Co-Fi Deal With Lone Star Capital, CitiBank". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- Eurico de Barros "DN Artes"Columbia Tristar Warner closes offices in Portugal Archived May 18, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. dn.pt, Retrieved on May 12, 2015
- Sony Announces Goodwill Impairment in the Pictures Segment Sony Corporation, 6-K No. 17-008E, January 30, 2017
- "Sony tries to upload movie trailer to YouTube, posts entire movie instead". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
- "Hack at Sony Pictures shuts computer system". LA Times.
- "Sony movies leak online after hack attack". Torrentfreak. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
- "Hackers Pirate Sony Films and Leak Studio Salaries". New York Times.
- "Lawsuits against Sony Pictures could test employer responsibility for data breaches". Washington Post.
- MEG JAMES, RYAN FAUGHNDER (December 13, 2014). "Fallout from Sony hack may alter how Hollywood conducts business". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "Sony Hack: Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin Joked About Obama's Race in Leaked Emails". The Hollywood Reporter. 2014-12-10. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- Spider-Man may appear in 'Captain America 3' mashable.com
- "Sony Hackers Threaten Movie Theaters". USA Today. December 16, 2014.
- "Sony pulls 'The Interview'; the Internet reacts". CNBC. December 18, 2014.
- "Tom Rothman Replaces Amy Pascal At Sony Pictures; Michael Lynton Contract Extended". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
- "Sony Names Former Fox Film Chief Tom Rothman to Replace Pascal". Bloomberg News. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
- Saba Hamedy (16 April 2015). "Sony Pictures condemns WikiLeaks' release of hacked material". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
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- Desta, Yohana. "Actually, Seth Rogen Doesn't Think North Korea Was Behind the Sony Hack". HWD. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
- "Sony Pictures - Divisions". sonypictures.com. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- Hulu CEO is leaving to head Sony’s TV studio marketwatch.com October 24, 2017, Retrieved on October 26, 2017
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- SONY PICTURES RELEASING CORPORATION businessprofiles.com, Retrieved on January 20, 2014
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- Nancy Tartaglione. "Sony Pictures Television, Karl Warner Launch UK Production Outfit Electric Ray". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
- Sony Pictures Television. "Sony Pictures Television International Forms First Fully Government Approved Television and Film Production Joint Venture in the People's Republic of China" (Press release). PRNewswire. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
- CCC director sold shares of Sony Pictures Television series producer. Retrieved on February 28, 2012
- Cynthia Littleton. "Sony Pictures Television Acquires Australia's Playmaker Media". Variety. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
- Nancy Tartaglione. "Sony Pictures Television Launches Northern Ireland Production Company Stellify Media". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
- The Anime Biz – By Ian Rowley, with Hiroko Tashiro, Chester Dawson, and Moon Ihlwan, BusinessWeek, June 27, 2005.
- Animax Asia – Corporate Profile Archived June 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. – Animax-Asia official website.
- Sony closes CSC deal, ups Kate Marsh tbivision.com, Retrieved on August 20, 2014
- SONY PICTURES TELEVISION CLOSES FILM1 DEAL sonypicturestelevision.com, Retrieved on July 26, 2015
- Sony buys Viasat channels from MTG www.digitaltveurope.net, Retrieved on February 11, 2015
- Affiliated Companies (Outside Japan) Sony Corporation
- Sony Pictures Online SPEJ – Company Profile Archived December 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan), Inc. official website.
- History of Columbia Pictures Part 3 Archived October 28, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan (in Japanese)
- Official website (in English)
- SonyPictures.net (Sony Pictures Global Gateway)
- Sony Pictures Entertainment Museum
- Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) on IMDbPro (subscription required)
- Sony Pictures Entertainment collection, circa 1920s-1960s, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences