Sony has acquired exclusive worldwide distribution rights to the upcoming Angry Birds movie, the studio announced on Wednesday. Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish gaming company that made Angry Birds, is developing, producing and financing the movie.
Sony will release the animated film worldwide July 1, 2016 in 3D.
"Every studio in town would love to add Angry Birds to their slate," Sony co-chairmen Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal said in a statement. "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."
Lynton and Pascal struck a partnership with Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio. "Despicable Me" producer John Cohen will produce while "Iron Man" executive producer David Maisel will executive produce.
Sony Pictures Animation has not released as many films as competitors like Pixar or even Fox's Blue Sky Studios, but three of its films have already spawned sequels. Sony will release the follow-up to its "Smurfs" film this summer and to "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" in the fall while a second "Hotel Transylvannia" film is scheduled for 2015.
The studio would love if this film could add another franchise to their stable. Angry Birds has been one of the most successful games in recent memory and a sign of the growing importance of mobile in both gaming and entertainment in general. Fans ahve purchased more than 12 million copies of the game since its debut in December 2009, spawning multiple spin-offs and now this movie.
It marks the first movie for Rovio, which has also turned the game into an animated series.