Sony’s string of flops started with “After Earth,” followed by “White House Down” and “Elysium.” The studio’s better-performing summer release, “The Smurfs 2,” still underperformed the original.
Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal came under intense scrutiny this past summer after Third Point chieftan Daniel Loeb, one of Sony’s largest shareholders, criticized studio management for a lack of accountability and profitability in the studio division. Loeb singled out several of those summer box office disappointments in his criticism of management.
Though the studio has yet to set a replacement, Sony’s digital marketing head Dwight Caines may be in line to succeed Weinstock at some point, according to sources close to the studio. Caines has been at Sony for 16 years. He was named president of worldwide digital marketing in 2008, a role in which he actually reported to Weinstock.
The recent studio reshuffling has extended to Universal’s top ranks, as well. The Comcast-owned studio booted chairman Adam Fogelson and installing TV exec Jeff Shell to oversee movie operations. By comparison, Universal had an outstanding summer at the box office with such hits as “Despicable Me 2” and “Fast and Furious 6.”