Sony buys Columbia trailer

Facing fierce competition, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Columbia unit broke from industry practice and paid four theater chains earlier this month to show trailers of its summer comedy The Animal, which opens the week following Pearl Harbor, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. In the past, no money has exchanged hands between studios and theaters for trailer screenings. Although only about $100,000 was spent on Columbia’s undertaking, one unnamed studio marketing official told the WSJ: “The concern in town is that it sets a precedent.”