Angry Birds - From Video Game Royalty to Box Office Success

Many of us like to think that Angry Birds is a product of modern times. Still, it’s actually been a whole 10 years since these charming little avians took over our smartphone screens. Still, the hype continues with a franchise that’s earned respect among gamers, moviegoers, toy enthusiasts, and anyone who appreciates a good parody.

Today, you can find these little moody birds in everything from video games (and their sequels), movies, toys and many other forms of media that we just can’t get enough of. They’ve become a new generation of “Americana”, not too shabby for a collection of brightly-colored cartoon animals performing daring in-the-air feats, eh?

Let’s look back at how quickly Angry Birds soared to success and why we still can’t get enough of these adorable critters today.

Reliving the Angry Birds Phenomenon

One day, Angry Birds just appeared in the iPhone app store, and there was no going back. To truly understand the phenomenon that is Angry Birds, one just simply has to play the game. And trust us, all it takes is 5 minutes for you to be hooked for a lifetime.  

Angry Birds was developed by Finnish game studio Rovio using a simple screenshot of a sad-looking bird. At the time, their goal was to invest in some internal projects that would eventually lead to a hit. Nobody could have guessed the success that ensued.

Just months after its release, the game had millions of downloads with no signs of stopping. 

Happy Facts About Angry Birds

If you’ve owned a smartphone or tablet at any point between December 2009 and now, there’s a good chance you’ve had the Angry Birds game on your screen at some point. Collectively, Angry Birds games have been downloaded over 4 billion times, even from remote places such as Antarctica!

Here are some other fun facts you might not know about the game:

  • Angry Birds has edged its way into numerous outlets, including cartoon series, books, clothing, toys, and even beverages!
  • The green pigs that the Angry Birds demolish received their own spin-off game called Bad Piggies. Naturally, the Angry Birds are their target of choice.
  • Angry Birds have made an appearance in several theme parks and have even received their own activity park in Malaysia.

With so much fame to their name, it’s hard to imagine these birds being angry all the time.

From the Phone Screen to the Big Screen

In 2016, Angry Birds found a new level of success with the debut of their first movie, suitably called The Angry Birds Movie. In true blockbuster fashion, the film featured a star-studded lineup of voice talent, including Jason Sudeikis, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, and Peter Dinklage. It raked in more than $352 million worldwide and became the third highest-grossing film based on a video game.

No spoiler alert needed—the movie sheds light on one of the most plaguing questions Angry Birds fans have had since the game emerged: Why are these birds so angry? Things seem amicable between the birds and the green pigs at first. Still, the moment the birds get a whiff of something in the air, they shift into protection mode to defend their precious island from the pig invaders.

In true kid movie fashion, there’s plenty of singing and high-energy music befitting an angry army of adorable little avians. Big names like Rick Astley, Imagine Dragons, Demi Lovato, and Blake Shelton lent their talent to the soundtrack, making the movie just as engaging and entertaining for adults as it was for their young ones.

The film was so successful that a sequel was quickly in the works, launching in August of 2019 and titled The Angry Birds Movie 2. The sequel was an instant hit and received unanimous praise for its voice acting and storyline, as well as a host of awards nominations.

If there’s one thing that the Angry Birds franchise has taught us about money, it’s this: no idea is ever too ludicrous or too simple to be successful. Who would have thought that more than a decade later, we’d still get so much enjoyment from flinging frowny-faced birds at little green pigs and causing digital destruction in the process?

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