Even the studio with the most successful record at the box office this year is retrenching. The Los Angeles Times reported today (Friday) that Sony Pictures has put "a near freeze on new scripts" and movie development until next April, when its next fiscal year begins. The newspaper reported that the studio has also informed writers that it will not be paying them to start work on many projects already set up at the studio recently. In reporting on the studio's decision, the Times observed, "Though it's common for studios to run through their annual development budgets earlier than planned, it's somewhat unusual that Sony has done so halfway through its year." It speculated that the company is seeking to maximize profits from its 2009 slate "by not spending money on projects it may not need."