Sony Pictures Classics

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Sony Pictures Classics
Division of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group
Industry Entertainment
Founded Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S. (1992)
Headquarters New York City, New York, U.S.
Key people
  • Michael Barker (Co-President)
  • Tom Bernard (Co-President)
Products Motion pictures
Owner Sony
Number of employees
Parent Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Classics is an art-house, "independent" film division of Sony Pictures Entertainment founded in 1992 by former Orion Classics heads Michael Barker, Tom Bernard, and Marcie Bloom (similar to Fox Searchlight Pictures and Focus Features).[2] It distributes, produces and acquires specialty films (especially of documentaries, independent films and art films) from the United States and around the world. As of 2015, Barker and Bernard are Co-Presidents of the division.


Sony Pictures Classics was founded on January 1, 1992, by Michael Barker, Tom Bernard, and Marcie Bloom, set up as an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment.[2] The model of the company is to produce, acquire and/or distribute independent films from the United States and internationally.[3]

Sony Pictures Classics has a history of making reasonable investments for small films, and getting a decent return.[2][4][5] It has a history of not overspending.[2][6] Its largest commercial success in recent years is Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris (2011), which grossed over $56 million in the U.S., becoming Allen's highest-grossing film ever in the United States.

Occasionally, Sony Pictures Classics agrees to release films for all other departments of Sony; However, under Sony Pictures Classics' contract with Sony, all other departments of Sony (including the parent company) cannot force Sony Pictures Classics to release any film that the division does not want to release.[2][7]

Select releases[edit]




See also[edit]

  • Mongrel Media, the exclusive Canadian distributor for Sony Pictures Classics


  1. ^ "Sony Pictures Classics Bosses Shop Cannes Quality". ABC News. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Thompson, Anne (October 17, 2006). "Sony Pictures Classics at 15". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 4, 2010. Retrieved March 4, 2010. They stay behind the films and manage to find a significant core audience for a large number of them, with the occasional $130 million blowout like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,' [former United Artists president Bingham] Ray says. 'But they spend a fraction of what a major studio would spend to get the same number. Their philosophy is not to pile a lot of money on everything. They run a tight ship; they don't have an army of people working for them. They keep things simple. 
  3. ^ "Sony Pictures Classics - About Us". 
  4. ^ Pond, Steve (November 16, 2009). "Sony Classics' Embarrassment of Oscar Riches". The Wrap. Retrieved July 28, 2010. It doesn't release blockbusters or Best Picture winners, but its understated business plans reduce risk and keep it in business. 
  5. ^ Kaufman, Anthony (January 29, 2008). "PARK CITY '08 | Sundance Buying Spree Stirs Talk; Sony Classics Adds "Baghead," "River," and "Wackness" to '08 Slate". Indiewire. Retrieved February 9, 2012. As Bernard explained, 'We're not looking for home runs; we're looking for singles and doubles.' [...] The tortoise-rather-than-the-hare strategy helped the company capture movies that were under the radar of buyers, and as Bernard argued, even sellers. 
  6. ^ "Duncan Jones is Unhappy About Moon - Thompson on Hollywood". Indiewire. April 1, 2010. Retrieved July 28, 2010. SPC had nothing to do with the DVD release, which Jones is unhappy about. 
  7. ^ Ross, Matt (February 6, 2006). "Translating foreign pix to U.S. hits: SPC finds creative solutions to bring home best in overseas fare". Variety. 
  8. ^ Hopewell, John; Barraclough, Leo (2014-05-24). "CANNES: Sony Pictures Classics Buys Palme d'Or Frontrunner 'Leviathan' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 

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