UPDATED, 1:50 PM: “We do very much have the ambition about creating a bigger universe around Spider-Man. There are a number of scripts in the works” involving characters and villains in the series, Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Michael Lynton told analysts in a Q&A session wrapping up his operation’s first meeting with investors. But he didn’t offer details, except that Sony is “working closely with Marvel and Disney.” But lest fans of the Marvel world take that to mean that Spider-Man could finally join his buddies in an upcoming The Avengers or other Marvel/Disney film — think again. Sony’s longtime rights deal with Marvel for Spider-Man allows them to exploit any character within the superhero’s universe — including villains, girlfriends or even Aunt May. But Disney, which acquired Marvel in 2009, owns merchandising rights to Spider-Man and those related characters, so any further exploitation would have to involve Disney.
While Sony today promised to hold down costs, especially for films, Lynton says that “we have in no way shape or form lost our commitment to the movie business. The movie business sits at the heart and soul of the company.” And he wouldn’t feel constrained from approving a major project. “We never once found ourselves lacking for capital” when it comes to a needed investment including an acquisition. That also was true when Disney snagged Marvel. With theme parks and several cable channels, Disney has “a few more channels to exploit” the properties. “You have to measure it against that backdrop.”
Related: Sony Pictures To Shift Emphasis From Movies To TV, Will Cut Film Output For 2014 Read More »
It’s not gigantic foodstuffs but living “foodimals” that plague the heroes of Sony’s sequel to 2009′s hit Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Neil Patrick Harris, Terry Crews, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, … Read More »
As a thank you to America’s troops, active military personnel and veterans will be admitted with one guest to see Columbia Pictures’ White House Down on July 4 at any Regal Entertainment Group, AMC, Cinemark, or Carmike … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Winter’s Discontent is the 2008 Black List script by Paul Fruchbom which Sony acquired for Atlas Entertainment a few years back. The well-liked project, which taps into the current zeitgeist of adult comedies, is moving forward with Billy Crystal attached to star as a widower who moves into a reputed, active mature community in an attempt to reinvigorate his sex life. Frank Oz, director of such pics as In & Out and Death At A Funeral, has come aboard to helm. Sony Pictures will distribute domestically and has taken rights in select foreign territories. Atlas is producing and Sierra Pictures is financing. Sierra/Affinity starts foreign sales in Cannes. Charles Roven and Alex Gartner are producing. Exec producers are Nick Meyer, Marc Schaberg, Kelly McCormick and Jake Kurily. Crystal recently starred in Parental Guidance and is next up in Monsters University from Pixar. He’s repped by CAA and managed by David Steinberg and Larry Brezner. Oz is repped by CAA. Read More »
A stuntman seriously injured while attempting to perform a stunt for the DVD release of the 2011 movie Ghost Rider 2 has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Sony Pictures Entertainment and two other companies. The stuntman, Michael Gaboff, says in the suit filed Friday (read it here) that he was hired in April 2012 as an independent contractor to perform a stunt for the movie’s DVD release that the production teams knew or should have known involved serious risks and failed to take proper safety measures. Gaboff’s suit says he was to ride a motorcycle up a ramp after being set afire and leap across a lake and land in the water. The suit also alleges members of the production teams exhibited “conscious disregard” for Gaboff’s concerns about the risks. The stunt went wrong and Gaboff landed on hard ground, breaking numerous bones including his lower back and neck and suffering other injuries including second-degree burns. The suit says Gaboff was “rendered sick, sore, lame, disabled, and disordered, both internally and externally and suffered … numerous internal and external injuries, severe fright, shock, pain, discomfort and anxiety.” Read More »
Neither is the music business, Sony Corporation of America CEO Michael Lynton told CNBC today. That won’t stop the speculation that the struggling electronics giant would take a serious look at an offer if it’s big enough. Lynton also says Sony just renewed its premium TV deal … Read More »
A stuntwoman who says she was injured on the set of Justified during a late night shoot in 2011 today sued Sony Pictures and various individuals connected with the FX series. Citing “severe and permanent physical and mental injuries,” Lisa Hoyle and her husband Robert Jakubik have filed a suit (read it here) for Negligence, Premises Liability and Loss of Consortium for injuries the Stuntchicks employee suffered during a car crash stunt on February 3, 2011 at Santa Clarita Studios. While Hoyle and her husband don’t specify any dollar amount in their complaint, they are certainly looking for more than loose change. The nine-page filing seeks general damages “in an amount to be proven at trial” as well as loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, legal fees, “medical and related expenses” and “other and further general and special damages in a sum according to proof at the time of trial” and further relief as the court “deems just and proper.” The plaintiffs are requesting a five-to-seven day jury trial in the matter. The defendants in the case are Sony Pictures Entertainment, Woodridge Productions, Santa Clarita Studios Corp, Don Kurt, Gary Lennon, Mark Glick, Susan Carpenter, Alison Try and over two dozen other unnamed individuals.
Related: Seriously Injured ‘Castle’ Stuntman Slowly Improving Read More »
Sony Pictures-MGM’s 23rd James Bond pic Skyfall became the 14th film ever to reach $1 billion globally, with a domestic cume of $289.6 million and $710.6 million internationally. Sony, which a month ago posted the studio’s best-ever performance … Read More »
BREAKING… Sony Pictures today announced its biggest movie year ever at the global box office, passing $4 billion for the first time in the studio’s history. Thanks in large part to Skyfall becoming the biggest 007 film … Read More »
CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves today confirmed longtime speculation that CBS would be interested in buying Sony Corp.’s movie and television studio businesses if they were to become available. “We love our current portfolio, but as a content … Read More »
Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney
September marks a new watershed in the fight for home entertainment dollars in Oz. Nearly every Hollywood film, including new releases The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Men In Black 3 and The Five-Year Engagement, and most indie titles, will be available simultaneously on VOD and DVD. The collapsing of windows has been driven by the U.S. majors looking to boost VOD revenues to help compensate for the contracting DVD business. The strategy has been welcomed by Oz’s many VOD services who say it’s resulting in a lift in buy-rates. Brendon Moo, general manager of Foxtel On Demand and Pay Per View, says subscribers per capita buy four times as many movies as those who subscribe to Britain’s BSkyB.
The gap between DVD and VOD releases was originally 90 days. In the past few years that was shortened to 60 days and progressively to 45 and 30; now it’s zero except for independent distributors like Anchor Bay and Eagle Entertainment. The first simultaneous DVD/VOD release was The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button in 2010. Sony Pictures began releasing its films day-and-date earlier this year and Tim Harris, director digital & acquisitions, says, “We expect revenue to grow as the consumer embraces the convenience and quality of the format.” Home entertainment retailers are keen Read More »
A second suspected LulzSec hacker was arrested Tuesday on charges he took part in an extensive computer breach of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Reuters reports. Raynaldo Rivera, 20, of Tempe, Arizona, surrendered to U.S. authorities in … Read More »
A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has indicted a 20-year-old Brit on charges related to the hacking of computer systems at Fox Entertainment Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment movie and TV studio as well as PBS, Reuters reports. Ryan Cleary … Read More »
Men In Black 3 opens Friday and it’ll be on plenty of 3D screens despite disagreement between exhibitors and Sony Pictures Entertainment over who should pay for 3D glasses. Movie studios have been footing the bill for … Read More »
Sony has won a three-way bidding war for action-comedy spec El Tigre by first-time screenwriters Aaron Buchsbaum and Teddy Riley. Sale was for mid-six figures after bidding among Sony, Paramount and MGM. Mosaic is producing the project about a family … Read More »
Sony Pictures posted the trailer today for its new version of Total Recall following the spot’s TV debut during the ABC broadcast of the NBA game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. Based on Philip K. Dick’s short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” … Read More »
Sony Pictures Entertainment’s online video streaming portal Crackle.com has added Animax anime channel to its lineup in the U.S. and Canada. Animax features an extensive collection of anime content with curated updates and will be available on Crackle.com and via … Read More »
Sony Responds To NATO’s Claim That New 3D Glasses Plan Is Myopic
The battle lines are starting to harden around who’ll pay for those lame-looking 3D glasses. I’ve learned that other studios might line up behind Sony’s decision to stop paying the average 50-cents a pair fee beginning in May. Rival studios tell me Fox is on board. “We’re studying our options, but haven’t made any decisions yet,” denied Fox Filmed Entertainment spokesman Chris Petrikin. Remember, Fox was first in line to try to stop paying for glasses back in 2009 when it released Ice Age. But then had to abandon that effort after theaters rebelled. Sony was technically correct today when it said in a statement that “there never has been” a formal agreement stipulating that studios would shoulder the cost of 3D glasses. But it’s easy to understand why exhibitors are stunned by Sony’s stoppage. Because it changes an understanding that’s been in place since 2005 when Disney’s Chicken Little kicked off the 3D movie phenom.
“It is a radical departure from what the practice has been,” National Association of Theater Owners President John Fithian tells me. Now Regal CEO Amy Miles warns that if studios end the practice then it could “result in fewer screens exhibiting 3D films”. That’s bad news for Hollywood, which plans to release 39 films in 3D next year, vs. 36 in 2011. Exhibitors might encourage consumers to bring their own 3D glasses. That may be the future anyway. But BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield says if theaters require payment for 3D specs on top of the typical 3D surcharge ($3.25 to $4 a ticket), then “the U.S. moviegoer will reject this as another way for exhibitors to milk them and further decrease their interest in 3D (and perhaps going to the movies in general)”.
The fight is over glasses manufactured for RealD which it, in turn, supplies them to theaters. RealD’s stock price was down -14.7% today on the Sony news. The 3D tech company won’t disclose Read More »