Rovio and Sony’s The Angry Birds Movie launched in the United States with an estimated $39 million, within its predicted range. The opening was good enough to nab first place at the box office.

While the number likely pales to the blockbuster visions that Rovio and Sony originally in mind when they embarked on the project, it can still be considered a win to open a film based on a dying mobile game fad at such a high level. Depending on final numbers, the Angry Birds will be within a few million of Dreamworks’ Kung Fu Panda 3, which launched with $41.3M last January, and right around the $39.2M launch last November for Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur.

The bigger story for Angry Birds is its $29.2M launch in China from 12,000 screens. That opening even tops Zootopia’s $23.6M Chinese debut; the Disney pic has gone on to become the highest-grossing animated feature ever released in China with $236.1M. Opening weekend numbers can be deceiving in China though; for example, Kung Fu Panda 3 in its first major Chinese weekend topped $51M, but ended up with only $154.3M. It will be worth watching whether Angry Birds follows the trajectory of Zootopia or KFP3 in China.

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.

The big question: How well does the film have to perform to ensure the continued existence of Angry Birds maker Rovio? The only definitive numbers are known by the company itself, but we do know that they spent a whole lot of money to bring this film to the screen.

Rovio alone has spent around $110M on the production of the film and P&A costs. Sony, which has invested far less, is taking a 7% distribution fee on the film. Sony is far more likely to come out ahead on the film, but hopefully it works out for both companies.


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