Sony Pictures revenue falls, operating income flat

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Declining home entertainment revenue and the box office failure of the costly comedy ‘How Do You Know’ drove Sony Pictures’ revenue down 8% in the fiscal year ended March 31. However, improvements in the studio’s television business kept operating income roughly flat.

The Culver City studio generated $7.23 billion in revenue for the year and $466 million in operating income, parent company Sony Corp. reported Thursday.


The decline in revenue is in part due to fewer big movies on Sony’s slate, with even hits like ‘The Karate Kid’ and ‘Grown Ups’ bringing in less money than worldwide blockbusters released in 2009 such as ‘2012' and ‘Angels & Demons.’

The James L. Brooks-directed ‘How Do You Know,’ released in December, was a significant blow to the studio’s bottom line. The movie cost $120 million to produce and tens of millions more to market, but grossed only $49 million at the global box office.

Sony’s TV business improved thanks to higher revenue from its international channels and programs it produces that are distributed on cable through syndication to local stations.

The studio didn’t specify the decline in its home entertainment revenue, but said that the decline in that business segment was driven by older titles from its catalog.

For the current fiscal year that ends in March, Sony said its studio’s theatrical, home entertainment and television revenues should all increase compared to the last year.

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Jack Nicholson and Paul Rudd in ‘How Do You Know.’ Credit: David James / Sony Pictures.