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). 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. The model of the company is to produce, acquire and/or distribute independent films from the United States and internationally.
Sony Pictures Classics has a history of making reasonable investments for small films, and getting a decent return.It has a history of not overspending. 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.