The toga lady holds her torch high for film audiences everywhere by representing Columbia Pictures, the studio through which Sony Pictures Entertainment produces its big budget movies. The studio was founded in 1924, and in 1982 it was purchased by Coca-Cola. Sony purchased Columbia from Coke in 1989 for $3.4 billion. The deal was the largest acquisition by a Japanese firm up to that time, and initially caused headaches for Sony due to losses from elaborate spending budgets and box office duds (Ishtar). In recent years Columbia Pictures has scored hits with its Spider-Man franchise, as well as comedies such as Superbad and Hancock. It operates as part of Sony Picture's Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group.
The cyclical film business has sent Columbia Pictures on a roller coaster ride of good and bad years. The company has been responsible for duds such as Gigli and Bewitched, however its Spider-Man movies have broken box office records, as did the studio's adaptation of bestseller The Da Vinci Code, starring Tom Hanks. The studio's 2008 releases You Don't Mess With the Zohan, Step Brothers, The Pineapple Express, The House Bunny, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist all performed well at the box office.
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