Sony suffers second box office letdown as it eyes partial spinoff

Joey King, Channing Tatum, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jamie Fox, and Garcelle Beauvais attended the New York premiere of "White House Down."  Credit: Reuters/Lucas
Joey King, Channing Tatum, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jamie Fox, and Garcelle Beauvais attended the New York premiere of “White House Down.”
Credit: Reuters/Lucas

Sony, which is studying a partial spinoff of its studio at the urging of major shareholder Daniel Loeb, suffered its second box office misfire of the summer season when its action movie “White House Down” opened with ticket sales below industry forecasts.

“White House Down,” which stars Jamie Foxx as the U.S. president and Channing Tatum as a federal agent who saves the White House from terrorists, opened with $25.7 million in domestic ticket sales, according to the studio, below industry experts’ estimates of over $30 million.

“We believe in the film, and that heading into the July 4 weekend and beyond, we’re very confident that we’ll get terrific numbers,” said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Sony Corp Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai told Sony shareholders at the Japanese electronics company’s June 20 annual meeting that the board was studying a proposal by billionaire Loeb, whose Third Point hedge fund owns 6.9 percent of the company. Loeb has proposed spinning off as much as 20 percent of the studio.

Sony’s critically panned sci-fi adventure “After Earth,” starring Will Smith and son, bombed in its debut at U.S. and Canadian theaters on May 31. The film, which cost $130 million to make and an estimated $100 million to market, had ticket sales of $27.5 million in its opening weekend and has totaled $57.9 million in North American box office sales, according to film site Box Office Mojo.

“After Earth” has sold $188.8 million in worldwide ticket sales, according to the site. Studios usually split ticket receipts with theaters.

“White House Down,” which cost an estimated $150 million to produce and many millions more to promote, has only started to roll out in international markets and sold $6.8 million worth of tickets in Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Sony said.

Operating earnings at Sony’s film studio increased by 40 percent, to $509 million, the company said in May, on the basis of a strong performance from a slate of films that included “The Amazing Spider-Man” and the James Bond film “Skyfall,” which it shared with MGM.

Its low-budget comedy “This is the End” has generated ticket sales of $74 million in domestic theaters this summer. Sony is scheduled to release sequels this summer to hits “Grown Ups” and “The Smurfs,” and the big-budget action film “Elysium” starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…