From app to big screen: Angry Birds catapult into Hollywood

Smartphone game firm poaches man who made hit movies out of Marvel Comics heroes

With 50 million app downloads and David Cameron among its addicts, it was just a matter of time before the idea of Angry Birds: The Movie triggered hopes of trilling cash registers in Hollywood.

This weekend, Rovio, the Finland-based digital production house that launched the game in 2009, is celebrating its success in poaching David Maisel, who has already converted Marvel Comics characters such as Iron Man and Thor into hit movies.

The brains behind Angry Birds have not been slow to capitalise on the bizarre popularity of the frankly disturbing game, which involves catapulting fat, helpless, cross-eyed birds into buildings. There are already stuffed toys, Halloween costumes and even an Israeli sketch show that turns it into an Arab-Israeli-style peace conference between birds and pigs. In total, the game notches up 200 million minutes of play every day. Rovio has snared more than £43m so far from Angry Birds, which will be launched on a Facebook platform and other consoles later this year.

But a Hollywood film takes it to a new level. Cynical observers might suggest that with studios bereft of ideas, the "app franchise" movie is just the first of a new wave of marketers exploiting audiences already craving the brand. Some of this year's biggest films so far have been inspired by a Marvel Comics character, a Disney theme park ride and toy cars. Between them, Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and Transformers have destroyed the opposition.

Steven Hess of the digital agency Weapon7, said: "In the past we saw movies become games, but now it is working in reverse. The popularity of iPhone apps will see a whole new flow of intellectual property from one to another. The easier cost of entry to create apps is resulting in new opportunities for building audiences that never existed before."

Mikael Hed, Rovio's chief executive, said Mr Maisel would "help build the company's entertainment strategy and transition Rovio to new areas in the entertainment business".

But big-screen appearances can be the kiss of death. Doubters should look no further than StreetFighter, the 1990s martial arts game that captured the imagination of a generation of teenagers. Then came a biblically awful movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme which, instead of building new audiences, heralded the beginning of the end.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 5
film
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: IT Infrastructure Engineer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Engineer

    £21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Liverpool - up to £28,000

    £22000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This is a large multi-site operation...

    Recruitment Genius: Salesforce Developer

    £50000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to continued business growt...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss