‘Breaking Bad’ Prompts Sony To Make Less Movies, More TV Shows

The success of Breaking Bad prompted the folks at Sony to reconsider how much time, money, and energy they put into the production of motion pictures.

Instead of making 23 movies per year through its Columbia Pictures arm, the company will reportedly only produce 18. According to Advanced Television, the success of Breaking Bad is forcing the industry to rethink how it delivers content to consumers.

Sony’s track record at the box office is decidedly mixed at best. For every Amazing Spider-Man the company churns out, they have a weak performer like White House Down and After Earth on their hands. Since people are watching filmed entertainment at home more than ever, Sony is apparently ready to shift gears. However, movies fans will suffer.

“No cost is too sacred to cut,” Sony’s Michael Lynton explained during a recent presentation.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Sony announced the “significant shift” towards television production during a conference call on Thursday (November 21). With a little help from Breaking Bad, the company reportedly made an incredible $1.5 billion in revenue from its television division alone.

What’s even more impressive is that 75 percent of that total came from overseas markets. Not surprisingly, Sony TV boss Steve Mosko wants to begin focusing heavily on content that can help these territories prosper. The company operates 159 networks in foreign markets.

Zack Van, who heads up programming for Sony TV, said that Breaking Bad was a significant hit across the board. In fact, the acclaimed series generated far more scratch than the company anticipated. However, he stopped short of dropping a specific figure.

To capitalize on the popularity of the program, Sony is putting a spin-off into production. Better Call Saul, a spin-off series based on Bob Odenkirk’s character, is expected to be a hit as soon as episodes start arriving. The folks at AMC will air this show as well.

When asked if the series was a prequel or a sequel centered around criminal lawyer Saul Goodman, Odenkirk told Business Insider that he’s hoping the program will go both ways.

“I’d like to see what happens before and what happens after. I don’t know what they’ll do with that… but that’s what I’d like to see,” the Mr. Show alum said.

When asked if he intends to write or direct an episode of the Breaking Bad spin-off, Odenkirk said he currently has zero interest in splitting his duties on the show.

“One of the things I learned about ‘Breaking Bad’ was how much I enjoy acting when I don’t have another job to do on the set… how much more rewarding it is to act when you can really focus on acting and not be distracted by trying to meet a production requirement or concern yourself with challenges that directors have to concern themselves with all day long,” Odenkirk explained to the publication.

Are you surprised that Sony wants to shift the focus away from movies following the success of AMC’s acclaimed series Breaking Bad?

[Image via AMC]