Sony Pictures’ strong performance in the quarter that ended in June stood out as the corporation reported a net loss of $191M on revenues of $18.5B, down 10% vs. the same period last year. Sony attributed the decline to the effects of this year’s earthquake and tsunami as well as lower-than-expected sales of TV sets and other consumer electronics. As a result, Sony lowered its net profit forecast for the year ending March 2012 by 25% to $771M.
Home video sales for The Green Hornet, Battle: Los Angeles, and Just Go With It as well as television ad revenues from India contributed to the $1.78B fiscal 1Q for Sony Pictures. The company says that the unit delivered $53M in operating profit, up 50.4% vs. the same period last year. Results were somewhat muddled at Sony Music due to currency exchange issues. Its profits were 61.4% to $149M on sales of $1.35B, down 0.6%. But the company says the slight drop is largely due to the appreciation of the yen vs the U.S. dollar. Factoring that out, the music operation’s sales were up 7%. Best sellers for the quarter included recordings from the TV show Glee, Adele’s 21, Beyonce’s 4, and Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light.
As the alien invasion movie Skyline is unleashed today by Relativity Media and Universal, Sony Pictures Entertainment has released a teaser for Battle: Los Angeles, a big scale alien invasion movie set for released in March. The battle between these two films goes beyond a simple same-subject rivalry; there is real bad blood here. As Deadline first revealed in August, SPE has made noises about seeking legal recourse because Skyline directors Greg and Colin Strause run Hydraulx, the visual effects house that created many of the effects for the rival film. The studio cried foul that the Straus siblings had access to every facet of Battle: Los Angeles‘s playbook and then went out and quietly made a rival film designed to hit the marketplace almost four months earlier. SPE never actually filed suit but there could be ramifications down the line if Skyline steals its thunder or if a case can be made that VFX innovations paid for by a film with exponentially more expensive found their way into Skyline. Here’s the Battle: Los Angeles trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: A real battle is brewing between rival aliens-invade-Los Angeles films Skyline and Battle: Los Angeles. Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio behind the big budget Battle: Los Angeles, is exploring its legal options. At issue: Greg and Colin Strause, the owners of visual effects house Hydraulx, were paid millions of dollars to generate visual effects work for Battle: Los Angeles. But Hydraulx never informed SPE the siblings were directing a VFX-driven rival alien invasion feature that will hit theaters four months before SPE’s March 12, 2011 release. SPE higher-ups discovered it was in a real horse race after Universal Pictures released a trailer that showed Los Angeles denizens being vacuumed into the sky by hovering space ships.
SPE lawyers have just started digging into the matter. This can be viewed as a Goliath vs. David story considering that the Strause brothers shot most of their film in an apartment, with the entire film costing a fraction of what SPE has spent for a full-scale alien battle film. But Skyline created strong buzz at Comic-Con that will give it a wide release through Relativity and Universal Pictures. Battle: Los Angeles could certainly have its thunder stolen. At issue: did Hydraulx and its owners owe SPE a heads-up?
And is SPE trying to create a legal issue with a film that can’t afford it, to leverage a release date change that delays Skyline?
BATTLE: LOS ANGELES
Should they have called this, BATTLE: L.A., since it was actually shot in Louisiana, and that would provide plausible deniability? Regardless, the look being strived for here is obviously BLACK HAWK DOWN meets DISTRICT 9. Aaron Eckhart leads an army team to find survivors in a besieged Los Angeles that has been bombarded by alien artillery fire. He has three hours to get in and out before the U.S. Military’s bombs drop (implied, but not said in the clip, is that these bombs will be nuclear). Read More »
Luke Y Thompson covers Hollywood events at the Con for Deadline:
10:00-11:00 AM: DreamWorks Animation: Megamind. I can’t say the posters for this new 3-D animated movie starring Will Ferrell were particularly appealing. A hybrid Smurf-Martian thing with a goatee, and, one imagines, Ferrell doing the same voice he always does? Not super-exciting. But the recently released trailer made things look up a bit – Ferrell’s character is the last son of a dying planet like Krypton, who learns in short order that a far more Superman-like character (Brad Pitt) has a similar story, and made it to Earth first. Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Jonah Hill will be in attendance, and there are rumors Pitt may even make a surprise appearance, but don’t hold us to that. Hall H
10:30-11:30 AM: Danny Elfman. Everybody loves Danny Elfman. Right? Even if you think that faux-lullabye-over-brooding thing he does has gotten stale, I guarantee that you love at least one soundtrack he’s done, whether it be the TALES FROM THE CRYPT intro, 1989 BATMAN theme, those infernal NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS songs, or my personal fave, the PE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE music. It’s been 25 years since that movie teamed him with Tim Burton for the first time, so instead of sending him an anniversary card, you can just show up here and listen to him speak. Room 6BCF
10:30-11:30 AM: TheOneRing.net Talks The Hobbit movies. Considering there isn’t … Read More »