Sony Pictures have announced that they have won the worldwide distribution rights to the long-planned Angry Birds movie.
The film, which will be released in 2D and 3D, is being developed, produced, and financed by original game developer Rovio Entertainment. Several major studios have been battling for the rights in the last few weeks, but now Sony have edged ahead and won the battle.
In a joint press release with Rovio, Sony’s Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton, and Co-Chairman Amy Pascal are quoted as saying;
“Every studio in town would love to add Angry Birds to their slate. There are few titles out there that bring this kind of excitement, brand awareness and built-in audience to the table. We’re thrilled to be distributing this film and we hope this is just the beginning of what will be a long relationship with Rovio as we look for ways to work on future projects together.”
Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Entertainment, also added;
“Sony impressed us with their great attitude, determination, and professionalism. They convinced us that we have found the right partners and team to help us market and distribute our first motion picture. Michael, Amy, Jeff Blake, Sony’s marketing and distribution head, and their teams will be the best possible collaborators as we get set to take our franchise to the next level.”
It has also been announced that Despicable Me producer John Cohen, and Iron Man executive producer David Maisel will work on the film, with the men taking up similar roles. They also spoke about the project;
“We are very excited to join with Sony Pictures in presenting this movie to the world in 2016 and we will have many more announcements as we begin production in the coming months.”
Since it’s initial mobile game release in 2009, the Angry Birds brand has expanded into publishing and entertainment, with the original game becoming the number one paid mobile app of all-time. There have also been spin-offs released, such as Seasons, Space, movie tie-in Rio, and Angry Birds Star Wars, a surefire sign that Rovio had made it with their brand. A separate – though still linked – game, Bad Piggies, was released in 2012, with Angry Birds and Bad Piggies games being downloaded over 1.7 billion times to date across different platforms.
Additionally, Rovio also launched Angry Birds Toons in March, an animated series designed to act as a lead-in for the feature-length movie. The series was made available though the Angry Birds apps, as well as Smart TVs, and selected worldwide TV networks and on-demand channel providers. In the first six weeks since launch, Angry Birds Toons has over 150 million views through apps alone.
The Angry Birds animated movie has a scheduled release date of July 1, 2016