Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a movie-making monster. The producer of Godzilla is a unit of Sony Corporation of America, the US arm of Japanese electronics giant Sony. It operates Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, which includes Columbia Pictures (big budget films); Screen Gems (midsized budget); Sony Pictures Classics (small budget); and marketing and acquisitions unit TriStar Pictures. Its film library contains more than 3,500 titles, including classics such as Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia. Other holdings include operations devoted to TV (Sony Pictures Television), DVDs (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), digital production (Sony Digital Production), and online video (Crackle).
SPE distributes content in approximately 160 countries throughout the globe.
Through Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (previously called Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment), SPE is active in the sale and rental of DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and digital titles. Meanwhile, SPE's TV arm continues to produce and distribute TV programs for both the broadcast and cable television markets. Internationally the group has invested in several channel and satellite ventures and co-production deals. It also owns a 40% stake in GSN (the Game Show Network). Digital production division includes a features animation unit (Sony Pictures Animation) as well as visual effects firm Sony Pictures Imageworks.
SPE’s revenue increased by 11% in fiscal 2013 compared to fiscal 2012 primarily due to the favorable impact of the depreciation of the yen against the US dollar. Motion picture revenues increased approximately 5%. Television revenues increased about 2% on a year-on-year basis primarily due to higher subscription revenues from SPE’s television networks and higher home entertainment revenues from US made-for-cable television programming.
The company’s net income increased by 40% in fiscal 2013 compared to fiscal 2012 because of its increased total annual revenue. SPE's revenue has gone up the past three fiscal years as a result of organic growth.
This company defrays the high costs of production and distribution by partnering with other movie studios. It has been busy producing Spider-Man films in in partnership with Marvel Entertainment. The first three Spider-Man films grossed an impressive $2.5 billion combined at the worldwide box office.
Hoping to repeat such successes, in 2012 it released a fourth installment, The Amazing Spider-Man. Beset with challenges such as finding a workable script and budget, the movie was initially delayed. However, it was apparently worth the wait. A hit with critics and audiences, The Amazing Spider-Man broke box office records when it was released.
The company has another partner in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In 2012 it joined forces with that studio to to co-finance and theatrically market and distribute the latest James Bond film, Skyfall. The previous year the two firms collaborated on 21 Jump Street. Other movies that MGM and Sony have worked on together include Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, 21, and The Pink Panther.