Metacritic's First Annual Movie Studio Report Card

  • Publish Date: January 27, 2010
  • Comments: ↓ 14 user comments

Sony/Columbia (incl. Screen Gems and TriStar)

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Summary of 2009 Films
Metascore Breakdown
Good / So-So / Bad:
24,33,43
Quality: Performance:
D+ B

Sony Pictures, which releases films under the Columbia, TriStar and Screen Gems labels, finished in third place for the second consecutive year, though it collected almost $200 million in additional domestic receipts compared to 2008. The studio also performed will internationally, taking in more than $2 billion from foreign box offices for the first time thanks in part to massive global hits like Michael Jackson's This Is It and 2012.

Domestically, Sony had five films break the $100 million barrier, although none of those films landed in the year's top 10, and only two (the aforementioned 2012, plus the unlikely January comedy hit Paul Blart: Mall Cop) placed in the top 20.

Although five of the studio's films received mostly positive welcomes from critics -- including Sony's best-reviewed film of the year, District 9 -- Sony released more bad movies than any other studio. Nine (43%) of the studio's 2009 releases received mostly negative reviews, and only one other major distributor (Fox) finished the year with a lower average Metascore than Sony's 47. The year's critical casualties included a number of abysmal comedies, including The Pink Panther 2, Year One, The Ugly Truth and Did You Hear About the Morgans?

2009 Film Quality Overview - Sony
Total Releases # Great # Awful Avg. Metascore Avg. User Score
21 1 0 47.0 5.9
Low - Median - High: 25 - 44 - 81 Score Distribution: 25,34,44,55,81

In the Score Distribution chart, half of all scores (from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile) fall within the shaded box, with the vertical line in the middle of the box representing the median. The Metascore is a weighted average of scores from top professional critics, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 100 (good). The User Score is an average of scores submitted by Metacritic users, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 10 (good).

2009 Performance Overview - Sony
Category Total (in Millions) Rank Market Share
Domestic Gross $1,456 3rd 13.7%
Foreign Gross $2,140 2nd 21%
Per-Film Average Gross $68.7 5th  
# of Hits (Domestic Gross > $100M) 5 films 3rd  

Per-Film Average is the average domestic gross of all films released during 2009, and includes receipts through January 25, 2010 for films still in theaters. Rank indicates the studio's ranking among the six major studios. Sources: Box Office Mojo, The Hollywood Reporter, and Metacritic staff research.

2009 Releases for Sony
Film Studio Domestic Gross* Metascore User Score
District 9TriStar$115,646,235817.8
ZombielandColumbia$75,590,286738.1
Michael Jackson's This Is ItColumbia$72,091,016677.6
Cloudy with a Chance of MeatballsColumbia$124,870,275667.7
Julie & JuliaColumbia$94,125,426667.3
The Taking of Pelham 123 [2009]Columbia$65,452,312556.2
The InternationalColumbia$25,450,527526.0
ArmoredScreen Gems$15,988,876504.1
2012Columbia$165,216,143495.7
Angels & DemonsColumbia$133,375,846485.9
Underworld: Rise of the LycansScreen Gems$45,802,315447.4
Not Easily BrokenScreen Gems$10,572,742437.6
Paul Blart: Mall CopColumbia$146,336,178395.0
Planet 51 TriStar$40,618,512395.4
The Pink Panther 2Columbia$35,922,978364.3
Year OneColumbia$43,337,279344.7
The Stepfather [2009]Screen Gems$29,062,561335.5
Fired UpScreen Gems$17,231,291315.5
The Ugly TruthColumbia$88,915,214285.3
Did You Hear About the Morgans?Columbia$29,580,087271.6
ObsessedScreen Gems$68,261,644255.1

* Domestic Gross includes box office receipts through January 25, 2010 for films still in theaters. The Metascore is a weighted average of scores from top professional critics, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 100 (good). The User Score is an average of scores submitted by Metacritic users, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 10 (good). Source for grosses: Box Office Mojo.

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Comments (14)

  • This Week’s Mo  

    [...] a related note, Metacritic recently released its first annual report card on the major studios’ revenues for 2009, and Universal finished dead last. How terribly [...]

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  • djkparry  

    why is there no mention of Inglourious Basterds?

  • Lucas  

    Very interesting indeed. The only variable missing is the cost of each movie and a revenue/costs ratio.

  • Evan B.  

    Metacritic keeps getting better every day I come back to this website! Keep up the great articles, Metacritic!

  • John Busey  

    Go Zeitgeist! IV: I don't understand what your problem is. If the general public is rewarding the box office why can't critics, whose job it is to watch films all day long, reward what they like? Isn't that fair? I mean, if everyone liked the same thing you would be bored with that too. I think it's nice that critics and moviegoers are at odds. Keeps things interesting.

  • nathan  

    this is great! thank you for doing this..I've often thought this was an interesting topic to cover, just never thought anyone actually covered it this well. Great Job!

  • Collin  

    Regarding your assessment of Dr. Parnassus, I don't necessarily think it's the audiences fault that the film has failed to garner a substantial amount of money. It's the studio's promotion of the film. I haven't seen one advertisement on television, nor have I barely heard anything at all about it's release in the last few months. I know it's definitely an independent film, but the studio still could have (somewhat shamelessly) promoted more widely the fact that this was Ledger's last film, given it a wider release (it's had very limited showings in Sacramento), and then most certainly recoup the movie's budget domestically.

  • christi  

    Fantastic stuff! Well done!

  • IV  

    Yes, Metacritic's report LOOKS nice. However, it's FLAWED. Why? Check out the critics' scores under films, The Blind Side, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, etc. Moviegoers are the BEST CRITICS, not film critics. Until Metacritic develops a model that incorporates general audience reviews, their annual Studio Report Card will not mean much. Furthermore, how can non-major studios like Zeitgeist, Sony Classics get such high remarks and be taken seriously when their films DID NOT attract a wider audience. Previews and word-of-mouth are the top factors that draw moviegoers to the box office. So, it stands to reason that if a film released by non-majors are marketed to a niche "art house" audience. An audience that film critics tend to favor and identify with. Most film critics DO NOT identify with frequent moviegoers and vice versa. There are too many movies to count that critics panned but moviegoers LOVED repeatedly (and rewarded those films at the Box Office). And not talking about Transformers 2

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