Marvel Slots Gold
reports lower profit as high-margin licensing
ebbs, by Michael White - 5th May 2009
Entertainment, maker of the "Iron Man"
movie, reported first-quarter profit fell 1.8
percent as the company took in less from licensing
fees on characters including Spider-Man.
income slipped to $44.6 million (€33.3 million),
or 57 cents a share, from $45.4 million, or 58
cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company
said today in a statement distributed by Business
Wire. Sales rose 75 percent to $197 million, beating
the $140.6 million average of 14 analysts’
estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
company earned less from high-margin character
licensing, while film production lifted total
sales. Marvel benefited a year ago from products
related to the “Spider- Man 3” movie
and video game. The film had $891 million (€665
million) in worldwide ticket sales, according
to researcher Box Office Mojo LLC.
there’s a ‘Spider-Man’ movie
they have a really good next three quarters,”
Michael Pachter, a Los Angeles- based analyst
with Wedbush Morgan Securities, said before results
were released. He recommends investors purchase
the shares and doesn’t own them.
fees accounted for 41 percent of sales, down from
76 percent a year ago. Last year’s results
were also bolstered by $19.3 million Marvel received
for the termination of video-game licenses.
rose 88 cents to $31.10 yesterday in New York
Stock Exchange composite trading. It has risen
1.1 percent this year.
March, Marvel postponed the openings of “Thor”
and “The Avengers” films to 2011 and
2012, respectively, after Sony said it would release
the next “Spider- Man” sequel in 2011.
Sony licenses the “Spider-Man” character
from Marvel. (Bloomberg)
Corporation is a multinational conglomerate corporation
headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, and one
of the world's largest media conglomerates with
revenue exceeding US$88.7 billion (as of 2008).
Sony is one of the leading manufacturers of electronics,
video, communications, video game consoles, and
information technology products for the consumer
and professional markets. Its name is derived
from Sonus, the Greek goddess of sound.
Corporation is the electronics business unit and
the parent company of the Sony Group, which is
engaged in business through its five operating
segments—electronics, games, entertainment
(motion pictures and music), financial services
and other. These make Sony one of the most comprehensive
entertainment companies in the world. Sony's principal
business operations include Sony Corporation (Sony
Electronics in the U.S.), Sony Pictures Entertainment,
Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment,
Sony Ericsson, and Sony Financial Holdings. As
a semiconductor maker, Sony is among the Worldwide
Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders. The company's
slogan is Sony. Like no other.
BMG Music Entertainment is a global recorded music
company with a roster of current artists that
includes a broad array of both local artists and
international superstars, as well as a vast catalog
that comprises some of the most important recordings
in history. Sony BMG Music Entertainment is a
wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of
acquisitions, and joint ventures
* 1988 — Acquired CBS Records Group from
CBS. It was renamed "Sony Music Entertainment".
* 1989 — Acquired Columbia Pictures Entertainment
from the Coca-Cola Company for US$3.4 billion.
It was subsequently renamed "Sony Pictures
Entertainment" in 1991.
* 1993 — Acquired Psygnosis Limited a computer
games company based in Liverpool, UK. Psygnosis
director Ian Hetherington was made Managing Director
of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
* 1995 — Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC,
a 50:50 joint venture of Sony Corporation of America
and Michael Jackson.
* 1997 — ST Liquid Crystal Display Corporation
(STLCD), a 50:50 joint venture of Sony Corporation
and Toyota Industries Corporation.
* 2001 — Sony Ericsson, a 50:50 joint venture
of Sony Corporation and Ericsson AB, was established
* 2002 — Aiwa Corporation in October.
* 2004 — S-LCD Corporation, a joint venture
of Sony Corporation and Samsung Electronics Co.
Ltd (Samsung Electronics: 50% plus 1 share, Sony:
50% minus 1 share) was established in April.
* 2004 — On 20 July 2004, the EU approved
a 50-50 merger between Sony Music Entertainment
and BMG. The new company was named Sony BMG Music
Entertainment and, as of 2005, holds a 21.5% share
in the global music market, behind worldwide leader
Universal Music Group, which has a 25.5% share.
* 2005 — On 8 April 2005, The MGM Company
(Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists) was acquired
by a Sony-led consortium (Providence Equity Partners
29%, Texas Pacific Group 21%, Sony 20%, Comcast
20%, DLJ Merchant Banking Partners 7% and Quadrangle
Group 3%) finalised the deal to purchase the film
studio for about $4.8 billion, including $2bn
in debts from Armenian-American Kirk Kerkorian.
* 2006 — Sony NEC Optiarc Inc, a 55:45 (Sony
55%, NEC 45%) joint venture of Sony Corporation
and NEC Corporation, was established in April.
* 2006 — Obtained an option to acquire half
of Michael Jackson's 50% stake in Sony/ATV Music
* 2006 — Acquired digital Single Lens Reflex
(Digital SLR) cameras section from Konica Minolta
including digital camera support and servicing.
* 2006 — Acquired Grouper Networks (now
Crackle, Inc.), a Sausalito-based startup company
that created a user generated video sharing platform
and P2P technology for $65M.
* 2006 — Field Emission Technologies Inc.,
a carve-out of Sony's nano-Spindt FED technology.
Established in December 2006 by Technology Carve-Out
Investment LLP (62.2%) and Sony (37.8%).
* 2007 — Qreatic Design Inc, a 50:50 joint
venture of Sony Corporation and Qimonda AG.
* 2007 — Moversa GmbH, a 50:50 joint venture
of Sony Corporation and NXP Semiconductors.
* 2008 — Acquired Gracenote, Inc. for $260M.
* 2008 — Acquired Bertelsmann AG's 50% stake
in Sony BMG Music Entertainment. (Credit:
Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film
production and distribution company. It was one
of the so-called Little Three among the eight
major film studios of Hollywood's Golden Age.
as part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture
Group—owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment,
a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Sony—it
is one of the leading film companies in the world,
a member of the so-called Big Six. It has no connection
with CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System).
studio, founded in 1919 as Cohn-Brandt-Cohn Film
Sales by brothers Jack and Harry Cohn and Joe
Brandt, released its first feature film in August
1922. It adopted the Columbia Pictures name in
1924 and went public two years later. In its early
years a minor player in Hollywood, Columbia began
to grow in the late 1920s, spurred by a successful
association with director Frank Capra.
Capra and others, Columbia became one of the primary
homes of the screwball comedy. In the 1930s, Columbia's
major contract stars were Jean Arthur and Cary
Grant (who was shared with RKO Pictures). In the
1940s, Rosalind Russell, Rita Hayworth, Glenn
Ford, and William Holden became major stars at
1982, the studio was purchased by Coca-Cola; that
same year it launched Tri-Star Pictures as a joint
venture with HBO and CBS. Five years later, Coca-Cola
divested Columbia, which merged with Tri-Star.
After a brief period of independence, the combined
studio was acquired by Sony in 1989.
Sony years to present
Columbia Pictures empire was sold in 1989 to electronics
giant Sony, one of several Japanese firms then
buying American properties. Sony then hired two
producers, Peter Guber and Jon Peters to serve
as co-heads of production when Sony also acquired
Guber-Peters Entertainment. Guber and Peters had
just signed a long-term contract with Warner Bros;
to extricate them from this contract, Sony ended
up paying hundreds of millions of dollars, gave
up a half-interest in its Columbia House Records
Club mail-order business, and bought from Warner
the former MGM studio in Culver City which Warners
had acquired in its takeover of Lorimar in 1990.
Sony spent $100 million to refurbish the rechristened
Sony Pictures Studios. Guber and Peters set out
to prove they were worth this fortune, and though
there were to be some successes, there were also
many costly flops. Peters resigned in 1991, to
be followed soon after by Guber.
entire operation was reorganized and renamed Sony
Pictures Entertainment (SPE) in 1991, and at the
same time, TriStar (which had officially lost
its hyphen) relauched its television division.
Publicly humiliated, Sony suffered an enormous
loss on its investment in Columbia, taking a $2.7
billion write-off in 1994. John Calley took over
as SPE president in November 1996, installing
Amy Pascal as Columbia Pictures president and
Chris Lee as president of production at TriStar.
By the next spring, the studios were clearly rebounding,
setting a record pace at the box office. In 1998,
Columbia and TriStar merged to form the Columbia
TriStar Motion Picture Group (a.k.a. Columbia
TriStar Pictures), though both studios still produce
under their own names. Pascal retained her position
as president of the newly united Columbia Pictures,
while Lee became the combined studio's head of
1994, Columbia Pictures Television and TriStar
Television were integrated into Columbia TriStar
Television (CTT). In 1994 as well, the television
library expanded when Susan Stafford sold Barry
& Enright Productions, which included the
post-scandal Jack Barry Productions (excluding
those owned by NBC), to CTT. The company also
purchased Bob Stewart Productions. In 1999, Sony
Pictures Entertainment relaunched the Screen Gems
brand as a horror and independent film distribution
company and TriStar Television was folded into
CTT. Two years later, CPT was folded into CTT
the 1990's, Columbia announced plans of a rival
James Bond franchise, since they owned the rights
of Casino Royale and were planning to make a third
version of Thunderball with Kevin McClory. MGM
and Danjaq, LLC, owners of the franchise, sued
Sony Pictures in 1997, with the legal dispute
ending two years later in an out-of-court settlement.
Sony traded the Casino Royale rights for $10 million,
and the Spider-Man filming rights. The superhero
has since become Columbia's most successful franchise,
with the first movie coming out in 2002 and having
since since gained two sequels, with plans for
the 2000s, Sony broadened its release schedule
by creating Sony Pictures Classics for arthouse
fare, and by backing Revolution Studios, the production
company headed by Joe Roth. In 2002, Columbia
TriStar Television was renamed Sony Pictures Television.
Also in 2002, Columbia broke the record for biggest
domestic theatrical gross, with a tally of $1,575.1
billion, which was raised by such blockbusters
as Spider-Man, Men in Black II and xXx. The studio
was also the most lucrative of 2004, with over
$1.4 billion dollars in the domestic box office
with movies such as Spider-Man 2, 50 First Dates
and The Grudge, and in 2006, Columbia, helped
by such blockbusters as The Da Vinci Code, The
Pursuit of Happyness and Casino Royale, not only
regained first place, but it reached an all time
record high cume of $1,710.9 billion, which is
still an all-time yearly record for any studio.
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