Sony Pictures declared a nightmare downtick in its revenue and stock today. The studio reported a 31% drop in year-on-year sales to $1.5 billion. That was because last year, the Spiderman-led studio was breaking records, while this year, even though “Hancock” cleared more than $500 million worldwide, the studio still fell back to Earth.
“Hancock” had enormous prints and advertising costs, which have not been offset by any future films.
Sony executives were sheepish about the drop.
“The losses that you see in the first quarter, again, you have to look at the pictures business holistically over the course of the year,” Rob Wiesenthal, chief financial officer, said during a conference call with analysts.
If it’s any solace, the tech division fell too, so the film side wasn’t fully to blame for Sony’s suffering.
Sony reduced its net profit forecast for fiscal 2008, which ends in March 2009, going from a May figure of $2.69 billion down to $2.23 billion. It has also dialed back its operating profit outlook from $4.83 billion in May to $4.37 billion, citing a tough environment for electronics sales, off-setting a depreciating yen.
You can’t blame it all on Will Smith.