Spider-Man studio, Sony Pictures Entertainment, could be up for sale with the executive shuffling that is bound to happen at the multinational company. This is despite major hits in 2017, such as Spider-Man: Homecoming, a collaboration with Marvel Studios, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which continues to exceed expectations at the box office.
The news comes after Fox's sold their film and TV division to Disney has officially been announced to the public. Interestingly, at one point, Sony was also interested in Fox until the House of Mouse edged out all their competitors to emerge as the winner. Since the buyout broke out, the industry has been divided about their thoughts on it. Some are happy, particularly comic book fans as Marvel Studios will regain rights to X-Men and Fantastic Four. Others, meanwhile, are less thrilled considering that the sale could result in thousands of jobs lost and possibly even less variety in terms of content on both the big and small screen.
Deadline reports that Sony Pictures' sale is possible now that current chief executive Kaz Hirai has announced that he is stepping down from his post. He will be replaced by chief financial officer Kenichiro Yoshida.
The main difference between the outgoing and incoming CEO is that Hirai is a proponent of continuing to foster Sony's TV and film division. His successor, however, much less so. Yoshida, who is described as a numbers guy, allegedly wants to get rid of the entertainment pocket of the Japanese conglomerate and focus all their efforts on tech instead. “Kaz was not interested in selling and Yoshida is really not too keen on the entertainment business so everyone (is speculating) that Sony is ready for a sale,” one source said.
Despite speculations, insiders who have personal knowledge of the matter admit that they do not have any clear evidence that there will be a major change in the company with Yoshida at the helm. That means that the succeeding executive is still expected to continue the strategies laid out by his predecessor when it comes to growing Sony Entertainment as an independent company. Furthermore, there is supposedly no talks of sales as of the moment. Of course, that doesn't mean that there won't be any in the future after Yoshida officially takes the company's top spot.
While nothing is still confirmed as of the moment, if there is really any industry buzz about Sony Entertainment being put up for sale, it'll be interesting to see whether Disney considers getting into the bidding war or if they would choose to sit on the sidelines for this one. After all, that would be their opportunity to snag the film rights back to Spider-Man (and own Jumanji).