To follow up last week’s post on mergers, it seems to look like the future of Sony/Columbia pictures is uncertain. They came in fifth last year – with only 8% of the market, and their entertainment boss is leaving to be chairman of Snap Inc. (Snapchat). Sony/Columbia is in a place of limbo now. They have made bad business decision after bad business decision – first with the merchandising rights to Spider-Man and then the Spider-Man property itself, to Disney/Marvel.
Most of Sony/Columbia’s movies were overlooked this summer with people flocking to Finding Dory, Suicide Squad, and Marvel’s Civil War instead of Ghostbusters and The Angry Birds Movie. Financially, their biggest hit was Sausage Party. Despite the controversy, it finished second behind Suicide Squad and made a lot of buzz for the company. But that is not enough to save what seems to be a company hemorrhaging money. Their films are not their films, from their wikipedia, their list of films is mostly co-productions with other people. They cannot stand by themselves anymore. In the entirety of the 2010s Sony’s only stand-alone film was the 2015 film Freaks of Nature which came out on Halloween and was only a limited release.
Sony needs a movie to save itself, and they are hoping that their savoir will come in the form of the Emoji movie, and other big release they have coming up. But the reality is, no one wants to Emoji Movie. While it is hilarious that Sir Patrick Stewart is playing the Poop, it is still not something anyone wants. It was one of the most down-voted trailers on YouTube and shows how out of touch the film industry is with technology and the public’s interests. Yes, emoji’s are everywhere, and people love using them, but their is no need to create a feature length film about them. Like another Sony film, Pixels, these films show that Sony does not get it. Pixels made Sony money but it was because it was bad. Viewers did not love it like they loved Ghostbusters. While Ghostbusters was not the hit Sony would have wanted, it quickly became a cult-like movie, like the orignial Ghostbusters, and found a home in the hearts of movie-goers. I fear the Emoji movie will go down the Pixels route and we will find that Sony’s heart lies with money and not in creating quality content for the fans.