EXCLUSIVE: After hatching a promotional niche with The Angry Birds Movie on the eve of the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, Sony will be back on the Croisette next week to launch the global campaign for its sequel, The Angry Birds Movie 2.
Taking place on Monday, this year’s stunt is the latest in a savvy move Sony began with the first film (which went on to gross $352 million worldwide) and has continued since as a means to stake out prime real estate a day ahead of the fest’s official opening. The strategy is to hit during a lull in which the entertainment media is on the ground prepping for the main event — and looking for photo ops.
The Angry Birds 2 stunt that begins at 3 PM local time on May 13 will see the titular irked avians and their longtime pig adversaries become frenemies and join forces to defeat a common foe, echoing the premise of the new film, and playing it out for the media. Together, they’ll use the birds’ signature slingshot to fling a hatchling (embedded with camera to provide a bird’s-eye POV) off the Carlton Hotel pier. A new scene from the film will also be unveiled online during the event, and a billboard for The Angry Birds Movie 2 will then adorn the Carlton pier throughout the following two weeks.
For the event, Sony is trotting out costumed characters from the film, along with cast including Josh Gad, and director Thurop Van Orman. Also attending are producer John Cohen and local voice talent Sergey Burunov (Leonard in the Russian version); Enzo Knol and Irma Knol (respectively Chuck and Bomb’s Mom in the Dutch take); and Sonia Plakidyuk (Ukraine’s Fuschia).
Similar Sony stunts, for The Emoji Movie in 2017 and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation in 2018, have provided a global boost to the pics. It’s a cost-effective means to get the message out on the world stage rather than as a regional junket. Studios to a degree have in recent years eschewed the high prices associated with launching a movie during the festival proper, and Cannes costs are lower on everything from hotel rooms to advertising pre-fest.
Cohen credits Sony’s marketing department for having the idea to “really eventize” the first movie in 2016 and “make a splash on the global stage” which he says clearly paid off.
In the sequel to the original adaptation of the beloved Rovio Entertainment game, the flightless birds and the scheming green piggies take their beef to the next level. When a new threat emerges that puts both Bird and Pig Island in danger, Red (Jason Sudeikis), Chuck (Gad), Bomb (Danny McBride) and Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage) recruit Chuck’s sister Silver (Rachel Bloom) and team up with pigs Leonard (Bill Hader), his assistant Courtney (Awkwafina) and techpig Garry (Sterling K Brown) to forge an unsteady truce and form an unlikely superteam to save their homes.
A key distinguishing factor from the previous film, Cohen says, “is that structurally it’s a heist with elements of a Mission movie which allowed us to play with those genres and give us a really fun and fresh energy.” He promises “a lot of comedy and friction between the birds and pigs… They have egos, they have some real trust issues.”
Sony begins overseas rollout in early August with the UK date recently moving up from October to August 2, and carries on throughout the fall. Domestic takes flight on August 14.
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