‘What You Should Know’ is a Rotoscopers series that gives you a detailed and (somewhat) objective rundown of this year’s animated films, right before or on the day they hit theaters. That way, you can make a decision of whether or not to see the movie based on the information provided.
MOVIE: The Angry Birds Movie
DIRECTED BY: Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly
WRITTEN BY: Jon Vitti (based on a story by Mikael Hed, Mikko Polla, and John Cohen)
STARRING: Jason Sudeikis (Red), Josh Gad (Chuck), Danny McBride (Bomb), Maya Rudolph (Matilda), Bill Hader (Leonard), with Peter Dinklage (The Mighty Bird), and Kate McKinnon as Stella.
MUSIC BY: Heitor Pereira
STUDIO: Sony/Columbia Pictures
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Sony Pictures Imageworks/Rovio Entertainment
PRODUCTION BUDGET: $73 million
BASED ON: an app-based video game franchise from Rovio Entertainment
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?:
The Angry Birds Movie tells the origin story of the simmering rivalry between the titular ‘angry’ birds of Bird Island and the green pigs that inhabit Pig Island. Naturally, the three main characters of the film are anthropomorphic versions of the app game’s three bird characters.
A BRIEF HISTORY:
The film was birthed in partial response to the success of Rovio’s Angry Birds Toons TV series, which validated the idea of doing a feature film project (according to a Rovio employee).
IMPORTANT STUFF TO KNOW:
While the film itself is budgeted modestly (initial reports put the film at $80 million), Rovio and Sony both sunk an extra 100 million in euros for marketing and distribution, making The Angry Birds Movie one of Finland’s most expensive film projects to date. The Angry Birds Movie also has the biggest marketing campaign ever for Sony, with upwards of a whopping $400 million spent on promotion alone.
Initially, Josh Gad declined to star in the film, feeling that his role was too similar to that of Olaf from Frozen. He was eventually convinced to sign on after seeing a 30-minute ‘visual pitch’ for the film.
In August of last Summer, Rovio cut an estimated 250 jobs (40% of the company). The only sector that was spared from layoffs were key personnel working on the movie.
At first glance, it would seem as if The Angry Birds Movie is trying to avoid the same mistakes that sunk Ratchet & Clank, and this is right.
The film is jam-packed with an admittedly impressive cast of A-list actors and cameo roles from musicians, comedians, and even YouTubers like Smosh. I also have to credit directors Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly and writer Jon Vitti for taking the imagery of the games and managing to build a fully formed fictional setting out of it (and one that could easily be built upon in sequels and spinoffs).
Also, the marketing for this film is far more effective than Ratchet & Clank. I can tell because the ads are everywhere! And judging from box-office tracking numbers, it appears to be working.
The video game movie curse is yet to be broken (having just claimed a recent victim). The Angry Birds Movie just might be able to slide by on account of the marketing and star talent assembled for this film, but we’ll see.
Also, the movie absolutely HAS to be a hit for Rovio’s sake. The Angry Birds brand has greatly diminished in recent years and it will take more than the people still playing the game on their phones to make this a knock-out at the box office.
Current tracking suggests that the film may perform better than initially expected. Despite new entries like Neighbors 2 and The Nice Guys stepping in and the mighty box-office power of Captain America: Civil War yet to be unseated, The Angry Birds Movie is projected to make $35-$40 million in its first weekend. Reports note that the film has the added benefit of being the only animated film in theaters until Finding Dory on June 17, allowing it ample time to rake in money.
Even more impressive is the amount of money it already made overseas. After an early release in over 74 international markets on May 13, the film has grossed a collective $43 million overseas, the numbers bolstered by its presence at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:
Well, it seems that the critics liked this movie better than Ratchet & Clank, but not by that much. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 43% ‘Rotten’ rating, with the consensus stating: “The Angry Birds Movie is substantially more entertaining than any film adapted from an app has any right to be – which may or may not be much of an endorsement”.
The Angry Birds Movie might not be the fiery mess that everyone expected, but I don’t think even video game fans will want to flock to this one in large numbers.
If this article has you interested in seeing The Angry Birds Movie, buy your tickets here on Fandango.
Thank you for reading this installment of What You Should Know!
What do you think? Is The Angry Birds Movie worth seeing in theaters?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes