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Sony Pictures

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Sony Pictures

For the Japanese film company within the Sony corporation, see Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan.
Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.
Subsidiary of Sony[1]
Industry Entertainment
Founded December 21, 1987 as Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc.,[2] renamed Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. on August 7, 1991
Headquarters 10202 West Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, United States
Area served Worldwide
Key people Michael Lynton
(Chairman & CEO)
Amy Pascal
Jeff Blake
(Vice Chairman)
Products Motion pictures
Television Production
Television Syndication
Online games
Mobile Entertainment
Video on demand
Digital distribution
Revenue Increase US$ 8.021 billion (FY2011)[3][4]
Operating income Increase US$ 416 million (FY2011)[3][4]
Parent Sony Corporation
Website Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (SPE) is the American television and film production and distribution unit of Japanese multinational technology and media conglomerate Sony. It is based in Culver City, California and serves as Sony's main global film production and distribution company. Its group sales in the fiscal year 2011 ended March 31, 2012 has been reported to be of $8.021 billion.[4][5]

Throughout the years, SPE has produced, distributed, or co-distributed successful franchises such as Men in Black, Underworld, and Resident Evil.[6]

Sony Pictures Entertainment is a member of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).[7]


On September 1, 1987, The Coca-Cola Company announced plans to spin-off its assets of Columbia Pictures, which they had owned since 1982. Under this arrangement, Coca-Cola would sell their entertainment assets to Tri-Star Pictures, of which they 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%.[8][9] A new company was formed in early 1988 with the Tri-Star name to take over the studio's production operations.[10]

On September 28, 1989, Sony Corporation obtained an option to purchase all of The Coca-Cola Company's stake in CPE for $27 per share.[11] 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 the company for $200 million when Sony hired Peter Guber and Jon Peters to head CPE.[12] It was all led by Norio Ohga, who was the president and CEO of Sony during that time.

Guber and Peters' hiring by Sony to run Columbia was conflicted by a previous contract the producers 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 Warners. Said agreement also saw Columbia sell its 35% interest in the Burbank Studios, and acquired Lorimar Studios, previously the MGM lot, from Warner Bros.[13][14]

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 stocks 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 GPEC on November 6, 1989 and acquired the company on November 9, 1989. 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 5 major Japanese banks Mitsui, Tokyo, Fuji, Mitsubishi and Industrial Bank of Japan.[15][16][17] The company was renamed Sony Pictures Entertainment on August 7, 1991.[18][19]

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.[20][21][22]

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.[6]

Corporate structure

Headquartered in Culver City, California, USA, SPE comprises various studios and entertainment brands, including Columbia Pictures and GSN.

Senior management team

  • Michael Lynton
  • Amy Pascal
    • Co-Chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment
    • Chairman, Motion Picture Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Jeff Blake
    • Vice Chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment

List of holdings

Motion Pictures and Home Entertainment

  • 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.[5] The group owns studio facilities in the United States, Hong Kong, Madrid, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Japan. In addition to the below company-owned brands, Columbia TriStar also has a contract to distribute films for independent Revolution Studios and select films by MGM and United Artists.
    • Columbia Pictures: Founded in 1924 by Harry Cohn, Sony acquired the studio in 1989 from The Coca-Cola Company for $3.4 billion.[15][16]
    • TriStar Pictures Formed in 1982 as a joint venture between Columbia Pictures, HBO, and CBS. Became part Columbia Pictures Entertainment in December 1987 and the Sony ownership in 1989. Was relaunched in 2004 as a marketing and acquisitions unit that specializes in genre and independent films.
    • Sony Pictures India, production house established by Sony to release Indian movies and distribute Hollywood movies, released under Columbia Pictures.
    • Sony Pictures Classics (SPC): Specializes in acquiring distribution rights to independent and art films as well as producing lower-budget productions geared to limited audiences.[5]
    • Sony Pictures Releasing
    • Sony Pictures Releasing International
      • Monumental Pictures: A Russian motion picture studio formed on February 2, 2006 as a joint venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Russia-based Patton Media Group producing and releasing Russian language films in Russia, the CIS, and Mongolia.
    • 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.
    • Triumph Films: The label Sony uses for its low-budget films. Originally a joint venture between Columbia Pictures and Gaumont in 1982.
    • FEARnet A joint venture between SPE, Lions Gate Entertainment, and Comcast for horror, suspense, and thriller movies online.
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment: Manufactures and distributes the Sony film library on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, video cassette, and UMD forms to global markets.
  • 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 "niche" motion picture company 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.
    • TriStar Productions: A joint-venture between Thomas Rothman and SPE.

Television Production and Distribution

  • Sony Pictures Television Group: (formerly Columbia TriStar Television Group) The successor-in-interest to Columbia's television division (first Screen Gems, later Columbia Pictures Television, Coca-Cola Television, TriStar Television (A division of Columbia Pictures 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 Columbia TriStar 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 Sony film and television properties worldwide. Formerly known as Columbia TriStar International Television from 1995 to 2002.
    • 2waytraffic: Acquired by Sony in 2008, this television production company owns a number of formats, most notably including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
    • Adelaide Productions
    • Barris Industries: Formed in 1965 by Chuck Barris as Chuck Barris Productions. Renamed to Barris Industries in 1984. Merged with the Guber-Peters Company in 1988 and renamed as Guber-Peters Entertainment Company in 1989.
    • Barry & Enright Productions (post-scandal), including Jack Barry Productions: Formed in 1947 by Jack Barry and Dan Enright, shut down in 1959, and reformed in 1975. Later renamed Stafford-Enright Productions in 1991. Sony acquired the library in 1992.
    • Culver Entertainment
    • ELP Communications (ELPC) and Tandem Licensing Corporation (TLC): The two in-name only units of Sony Pictures Television own the productions' copyrights presented by Norman Lear's companies: Tandem Productions and ELP Communications (series from T.A.T. to ELP Communications). The companies were formed by Bud Yorkin and Norman Lear in 1958 as Tandem Productions. Yorkin ended his partnership with Lear in 1975, but remained with Tandem. Lear and his partner Jerry Perenchio sold Tandem/Embassy Television to The Coca-Cola Company in 1985 and later became Embassy Communications in 1986 (later became ELP Communications in 1988). ELPC and TLC are part of Sony Pictures Entertainment since 1991.
    • Embassy Row: A television and digital production company by Michael Davies known for producing Power of 10, the 2005 version of Chain Reaction, and the current incarnation of The Newlywed Game for GSN. SPT acquired the company on January 14, 2009.
    • Floresta
    • Four D Productions: Independent production house founded by Danny Arnold in 1974. Acquired by The Coca-Cola Company in 1986.[23]
    • Gogglebox Entertainment
    • 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 [24] 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.
    • Merv Griffin Enterprises: Founded in 1964 by Merv Griffin as Merv Griffin Productions. He sold his company to The Coca-Cola Company in 1986 as Merv Griffin Enterprises and was a subsidiary of Columbia Pictures Entertainment from 1988 to 1991 and Sony Pictures Entertainment from 1991 to 1994.
    • Scarlet Media: Joint venture between SPT and Simon Andreae. Launched on August 22, 2013.[25]
    • Silver River Productions
    • Stewart Tele Enterprises: Formed in 1964 by Bob Stewart. Merged with SPE in 1994.
    • Teleset
    • Tuvalu Media: A Dutch production company based in Hilversum, Netherlands. SPT acquired a majority stake in the company in March 2010.
    • Victory Television: A UK television production company that was founded in 2011; a joint-venture with Victoria Ashbourne.
    • Sony Pictures Television Networks

Other Sony Pictures operations

  • 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 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 web site says it was established on February 10, 1984,[30] 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.[31] Based in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Sony Pictures Europe: Offices located at 25 Golden Square, London, England
  • Sony Pictures Loot: A newly formed group of developers that creates experiences and products for PlayStation Home. Their products include premium personal spaces and decorative ornaments and clothes/costumes for the users personal spaces and avatars. The premium personal spaces have equipment that allows users, if hooked up to a video capture system, make their own machinimas in Home.[32]
  • Sony Pictures Studios Post Production Facilities
  • Worldwide Product Fulfillment
  • Sony Pictures Technologies
    • Digital Authoring Center provides educational seminars for film-makers preparing stereoscopic productions. Also known as Sony Pictures Digital Authoring Center.
    • Colorworks, established in 2009, provides digital image production services such as digital restoration, digital intermediates, scanning and film recording, digital dailies and asset management


External links

  • (English)
  • (Sony Pictures Global Gateway)
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment Museum
  • Internet Movie Database

Template:Sony Pictures

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