Rovio and Sony’s ‘The Angry Birds Movie’ launched in the United States with enough success to nab first place at the box office. The movie opened at number one with $39 million, the second highest ever video game adaptation opening after Lara Croft: Tomb Raider ($47 million, 2001).
While these numbers may not take it into the blockbuster territory Rovio and Sony had hoped for, they are well within their predicted range and mar a great achievement for a film based on a mobile game fad. Only one video game movie has ever banked more than $100 million domestically (Tomb Raider), but if ‘Angry Birds’ can maintain its numbers, it could make as much as $152 million in the US alone throughout the course of its life. Whether the film and its characters will become as iconic as a film like ‘Minions’ remains to be seen, but with international sales eclipsing the $70 million production budget Sony has been left with plenty of room to green light a sequel.
"Rovio and Sony Imageworks did a phenomenal job bringing video game characters to life and giving them a personality that endeared themselves to the family audience," Sony executive Josh Greenstein said in a statement."
It is in the international market that the film has truly prospered, having seen a $29.2M launch in China from 12,000 screens. These numbers even top ‘Zootopia’s $23.6M Chinese debut, which went on to become the highest-grossing animated feature ever released in China with $236.1M. However, opening weekend numbers can be misleading in China with many films failing to maintain their debut numbers. For example, DreamWork’s ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ topped $51M in its first major Chinese weekend, but ended up with only $154.3M. Hopefully Angry Birds can break this mould and continue to draw audience members in to see their feathered adventures.
The Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly-directed movie pulled in a total of $55.5M from international markets. Besides China, its other top markets are Russia ($9.5M), Germany ($6.8M), Brazil ($4.9M), and Mexico ($4.8M). The movie has grossed $112M overseas to date, and combined with its U.S. weekend estimates, is somewhere around the $150M worldwide mark.