Sony to Lay Off 216 Employees in Culver City -- CEO Blames Summer Flop "After Earth"

As part of an effort to find $350 million in savings worldwide, Sony has reported that it will lay off 216 employees at its Culver City headquarters. The layoffs will reportedly include the elimination of Sony's interactive marketing division. Says the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch.com: "Explaining the need for the cost savings in November, Sony Pictures Chief Executive Michael Lynton cited the studio's shifting investment from movies to television, along with a brutal summer that included two high profile flops."

The two flops that Lynton is referring to here are Will Smith's enervated vanity piece "After Earth" and the Die Hard-in-the-White-House buddy pic "White House Down." These are the films that Daniel Loeb -- the founder of hedge fund Third Point, a major investor in Sony -- referred to as “2013′s versions of Waterworld and Ishtar."

Lest we lose pride in our local movie studio, however, Indiewire has this evaluation of Sony's 2013 successes: "The best news for the company came from one sleeper summer hit ("This Is the End") and two late-year awards contenders that are scoring worldwide ("Captain Phillips" and "American Hustle"). And all three combined averaged around $40 million in production budget." 

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Comment by Crystal Covington on March 20, 2014 at 1:41pm

Will be interesting to see how this affects all the downtown eateries that have big crowds at lunchtime from Sony.  Having 200+ less people will definitely make an impact, it's too bad.

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