Buried in a ho-hum Sony earnings story is perhaps central irony behind the movie business these days.
Yes, on the surface, it is perfectly fair to say that Sony’s had a lousy year so far: Turkeys like “Stealth,” “XXX: State of the Union” and “Bewitched” produced plenty of red ink, and so the studio posted a $59 million operating loss. (The Sony electronics biz wasn’t much better: Revenue is down almost by half.)
But it’s too easy to simply say that the litany of bad moves by Col chairwoman Amy Pascal is the only reason. Hell, as a kid in the 80′s I didn’t just sit through corny, derivative schlock like “Iron Eagle,” — I paid for a full price ticket and loved every second.
No, in Sony’s -poor 3rd quarter results, there is something revelatory.
It’s this: Game sales surged nearly 80% to $1.9 billion, and as a direct result, the kids aren’t watching the high priced TV spots that command them to go to the movies. Why? Because their PlayStation 2′s are hooked up to their TVs.
Thanks to PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2, Sony’s games unit moved to a an operating profit of $73 million – where as a year ago, it lost money. Sony isn’t just robbing Peter to pay Paul – they’re Peter AND they’re Paul.
Even worse? “Spider-Man 3″ isn’t due out until 2007.
No wonder Amy’s got a headache.