Sony’s ‘The Emoji Movie’ To Smile On Cannes In Early Festival Stunt

The Emoji Movie
Sony Pictures Animation

EXCLUSIVE: Staking out the same prime media real estate it did with last year’s savvy move to stage an Angry Birds event the day before the Cannes Film Festival kicks off, Sony’s marketing team has come up with a similar plan for The Emoji Movie.

Tomorrow afternoon, while much of the world’s media is prepping for Wednesday’s festival open — and looking for photo ops — The Emoji Movie will take over the Carlton pier with signage and star T.J. Miller arriving stunt-style. He will then host the event which takes place around the same time as the international trailer for the Anthony Leondis-helmed animated comedy launches.

As with Angry Birds last year — which went on to a $350 million worldwide gross — the event is looking to fill a content opportunity for the world’s media and consumers. Journalists and photographers are routinely on the ground a few days before the curtain rises in Cannes, and here comes Emoji to help illustrate early Croisette anticipation articles.

We pegged this as a potential trend last year, and so far Sony is taking advantage of the festival-eve slot to really make it a new thing. The Emoji Movie has a July 28 domestic release with international rollout beginning August 3. The fact that Sony is continuing with such a promotion this year comes as there is little studio presence expected on the Riviera in the next two weeks.

Back in 2015, Sony Pictures Animation won a three-studio auction for an animated movie pitch centering on the emoji, the ubiquitous social media correspondence creatures that live inside our phones.

The story is set in Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression — except for the exuberant Gene (Miller), who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious codebreaker emoji Jailbreak (Anna Faris). Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever.

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