Is Sony Looking To Sell Off Columbia Pictures?
Things haven't been going well of late for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Their two latest hopeful blockbusters, Passengers and Ghostbusters, fizzled at the box office. They've been fourth or worse overall for the last four years, under 10% of the box office most of that time and only 8.4% and 8% the last two years. Only two films broke $100 M for them last year, Ghostbusters and The Angry Birds movie with Sausage Party coming in third with $97 M. The only two movies they had to break $200 M in the last four years have been Spectre and Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Add in the departure of Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, and things seem to be getting bleak. The New York Post has reported that CBS and Chinese investors are eyeing both Columbia Pictures and Sony's TV division. It's believed the company will hold out until after the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Emoji Movie, hoping that if the two do well at the box office they can ask for a higher price.
Kazuo Hirai, CEO of Sony, has said that the entertainment business is an essential part of the company and that Sony Music and PlayStation divisions are a big success and won't be going anywhere. Lynton has agreed to stay on for six months and will work with Hirai as co-CEO's of Sony Pictures Entertainment while they look for a regular replacement.