According to a recent article in The Hollywood Reporter, Stringer was promoting several of the company's initiatives to reporters in Japan. The usual subjects of PlayStation 3 and the new Blu-ray format came up, but shareholders will be happy to know that Stringer believes the conglomerate's movie slate will fortify Sony's balance sheet.
The most recent Sony hit was the Adam Sandler flick Click, a box-office smash about a supernatural remote control device that can wield power over time. (Any of you remember a similar concept on an episode of the Weird Science television series?) That film came out this past weekend, grossing a little more than $40 million.
Of course, the big news for Sony's celluloid department right now is the box-office bonanza The DaVinci Code. No need to figure this one out -- the film has booked more than $200 million domestically and almost $500 million in international grosses. Future catalysts this summer include Monster House (from producers Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis), Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (A NASCAR-themed comedy starring Will Ferrell), and Little Man (directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans).
There's no guarantee that these latter projects will be hits, but Stringer seems optimistic -- Sony's market share is currently No. 2, at 17.2% for the January-to-June timeframe, according to Boxofficemojo.com. That's just behind News Corp.'s
Sony should do well next year at the box office. It will be releasing films based on Marvel Entertainment
Of course, Sony is a large conglomerate, so its future returns won't be based solely on its movie operations. Nevertheless, with the new iteration of PlayStation on the horizon, and the Blu-ray disc getting ready to enter the format wars, investors will want to look especially closely at the company. Personally, I prefer Disney right now in the big media sector (see my bull argument). And I enjoy Marvel's long-term prospects for its future slate of films, including a new business model that lets the company keep more of profits from its character brands by self-financing future films (albeit with increased risk). Of course, I encourage all Foolish minds to choose for themselves.
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