Sony Pictures Entertainment Third-Quarter Profits Jump 57% To $281M

UPDATE: Sony Pictures Entertainment recorded profits of $281 million for the third-quarter of fiscal year 2023, a 57% hike versus the comparable period in 2022. Revenues were also up 5% to $2.473 billion.

Announcing earnings in Tokyo this morning for the three months ended December 31, 2023, Sony Group Corporation attributed the year-on-year increase for the Pictures segment to a jump in television and digital streaming licensing revenues as well as home entertainment sales, mainly due to the contribution of theatrical releases in 2023 (that would include the Oscar-nominated Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse which grossed $691 million theatrically worldwide and hit home ent in late summer). Also making for higher numbers was an increase in revenues for Crunchyroll due to paid subscriber growth with over 13 million paying subs as of the end of December. 

During Q3 2023, Sony notably released Apple Original Films’ Napoleon, which grossed $208 million across the period. We understand that Sony’s distribution deal is around 8% of the box office, with Apple backstopping marketing costs. Sony recoups its marketing costs before monies go to Apple.

SPE also significantly released romcom Anyone But You which has seen amazing holds throughout its run and is now at $170 million global through Sunday. Because it began rollout in late December, only $31 million of that fell during the third-quarter earnings period. 

Up on deck for Q4 are this weekend’s Madame Web, and March’s Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. Later in the year will see the next Bad Boys along with Kraven the Hunter, Venom 3 and two more pics from Apple. The fiscal year profit forecast remains unchanged from last quarter.

On an earnings call, Sony touted the success of Crunchyroll, saying it intends to grow that business.

The corporation further noted that the impact of the dual Hollywood strikes in 2023, which caused production delays and release date shifts is expected to be a little less than 20 billion yen ($133 million). 

Overall, Sony reported profits of $3.1 billion (463.3 billion yen), a 10% jump on 2022’s third quarter; and revenues of $24.9 billion (3.75 trillion yen), a 22% hike. 

The electronics and media giant cited significant increases in Q3 for the Financial Services, Pictures and Music segments. Sales in Games & Network Services, which includes the PlayStation 5 console, were up 16% on a yen basis to $9.6 billion. Operating income, however, was down 26% to $572.5 million.

Music also saw significant hikes, including 16% in revenues to $2.8 billion and 21% in profits to $506 million, owing to higher sales for recorded music and publishing from paid subscription streaming services.

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