Sony gets rights for Angry Birds movie

Rovio says several "major" studios pursued the global film rights before Sony Pictures won out; movie to launch July 1, 2016.

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Sony Pictures Entertainment has obtained the exclusive worldwide distribution rights for the upcoming Angry Birds movie, developer and publisher Rovio Entertainment has announced.

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Several "major" studios reportedly pursued the film rights in recent weeks before Sony Pictures emerged as the winner. The 3D film will be developed, produced, and financed by Rovio Entertainment and released by Sony Pictures on July 1, 2016.

Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton and co-chairman Amy Pascal said in a joint statement that their company is overjoyed to distribute the film, one that they believe will be a hit.

"Every studio in town would love to add Angry Birds to their slate. There are few titles out there that bring this kind of excitement, brand awareness and built-in audience to the table," the pair said. "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."

Iron Man producer David Maisel is attached to the Angry Birds film as executive producer, with Despicable Me producer John Cohen also on board in a producing role.

The forthcoming Angry Birds film will mark Rovio Entertainment's first stride into feature films, but not the first animated video production from the company. Angry Birds Toons launched in March through apps, select video-on-demand providers, and TV networks. The series has drawn more than 150 million views through apps alone in its first six weeks.

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