The Sony Corporation (ソニー株式会社?) is a large Sonī Kabushiki GaishaJapanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Tokyo. Sony has a longstanding working relationship with Toho and for this reason has experience with the Godzilla franchise.
Relationship with Toho
Product placement for Sony has been featured in many of Toho's kaiju films since the Showa era. In 1992, Toho sold the film rights to the Godzilla series to Sony's American motion picture branch, Sony Pictures Entertainment, in order to allow them to produce an American Godzilla film. Sony designated the project to their newly-acquired subsidiary, TriStar Pictures, which began production on a film in 1994. When the film was finally pitched to Sony's executives, they would not approve of the film's budget, causing director Jan De Bont to back out of the project and sending the film into development hell. Sony approached director Roland Emmerich in order to revive the project, who accepted on the condition that he could handle the film however he wanted and discard the original script. Sony agreed, and Emmerich began production of GODZILLA at TriStar, which was released in the summer of 1998. The film was met with almost worldwide disappointment, especially from fans, and performed well below Sony's expectations at the box office, despite making a profit. Sony Pictures had intended for a sequel to the film to be made, but the poor reception and merchandising sales from the film convinced them that a sequel would not be profitable, and the film was scrapped in favor of an animated series. After TriStar acquired Toho's Godzilla 2000: Millennium for American distribution, with a successful limited theatrical run, an American-made sequel to the film was pitched to Sony, who declined on the basis that they did not produce films with such small budgets. Sony considered producing a new American Godzilla film with no connection to the 1998 film, but decided against it and allowed their rights to revert to Toho in 2003.
Since that time, Sony and TriStar have distributed many of the Japanese Godzilla films in the United States on DVD. In 2014, Sony released the Toho Godzilla Collection on Blu-ray, including all of the Japanese Godzilla films from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah through Godzilla: Final Wars along with the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, all in their original Japanese language along with the international English dubs. In fall of 2015, Sony released the collection in a two-volume DVD set, minus the Japanese language tracks and Rebirth of Mothra III. The video game Godzilla: The Game was negotiated to be exclusive to Sony's PlayStation systems.
On July 31, 2017, Sony Pictures Television announced that it would buy a controlling 95% stake in Funimation (who licence the U.S/Canadian distribution rights to Shin Godzilla) for $143 million, a deal that was approved by the United States Department of Justice on August 22, 2017, and closed on October 27, 2017.