Now we know why Sony wanted to announce yesterday that Kazuo Hirai will replace Howard Stringer as CEO in April. U.S. shares are down about 5.4% in pre-market trading after the electronics and entertainment giant released a fiscal 3Q report filled with tales of woe — including in its filmed entertainment and music businesses. In the last three months of 2011, the company generated a net loss of $2B, down from a profit in the period last year, on revenues of $23.4B, down 17.4%. What’s more, Sony lowered its forecast for the fiscal year ending in March: It now expects to wind up with a $1.2B operating profit, which is 10.2% lower than it predicted in November. Sony’s biggest problem is the declining sales of LCD television sets in Japan, Europe, and North America. Revenues for Consumer Products and Services fell 24.4% to $12.8B in the quarter. Revenues grew for filmed entertainment, by 7.7% to $2.1B, but due to high marketing costs and the disappointing performance of Arthur Christmas the unit’s operating profit fell 84.8% to $9M. The Music operation also struggled with sales down 11.7% to $1.6B, and a 21.7% decrease in operating income to $196M. Bestselling titles included Adele’s 21 and music from the TV show Glee.
‘Arthur Christmas’ Slays ‘Em In The UK
Sony Pictures Animation and Aardman’s Arthur Christmas jumped to the top of the UK box office this weekend – in its fourth week of release. This bit of holiday magic came courtesy of a £1.9 million weekend take for a cume of £11.5 million. The film has been holding steady in second place since it bowed on November 11 and this weekend faced off against Happy Feet Two for the family audience. Largely positive notices and the British voice cast — including James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton — have no doubt been a local draw. Sony Pictures Releasing UK’s Peter Taylor said: “Opening a movie at No. 1 in such a competitive market as the UK is difficult enough, but to reach the top of the chart in the fourth week of release is almost unprecedented. We are all delighted.”
Tom Hooper Decides Against 3D For ‘Les Miserables’
Although director Tom Hooper flirted with the idea of filming the new movie version of the hit stage musical Les Miserables in 3D, the Oscar-winning helmer of The King’s Speech has decided to stick with 2D. Hooper told the BBC he had been “very tempted” to use 3D but worried that some audiences might “physically struggle” with the format. Not to worry, purists. “I can definitely announce it’s good old-fashioned 2D,” Hooper said at the British Independent Film Awards. “I wanted to make a film that would touch everyone. I believe the story is so strong, 3D is not essential.” Hooper added that the casting of Eponine and Cosette would be announced soon. “I’ve never done a film where big star actors are as obsessed with being in it as this.” Starring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as Javert,
Here’s a trailer for Sony Pictures Animation’s Arthur Christmas, the first pic to see the light under a three-year deal with Wallace & Gromit producer Aardman Animations. It premieres November 23. James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton do the voice work on the 3D film, …