Box office slingshot doesn’t fling Angry Birds far

The Angry Birds Movie 2 didn’t land quite as well at the box office as Sony was probably hoping, earning $10 million over its opening weekend, Box Office Mojo is reporting. That’s enough to give the action comedy a total of $16 million since it premiered on Wednesday, which even then is less than half of the $38 million the original film was able to snatch up during its opening back in 2016.

What kept the sequel from swinging higher? In this case, it wasn’t reviews. Critics were quite amused by The Angry Birds Movie 2 (though our own James notably wasn’t among them), giving it a great 76% “freshness” rating over at Rotten Tomatoes, which is actually enough to make it the best-reviewed video game movie of all time, taking the title away from Detective Pikachu. It’s also a lot higher than the 44% “rotten” rating the first film received.

Marketing for the movie was somewhat mixed. While a teaser trailer centered around Vanilla Ice may not have done much to inspire confidence, later previews were far more amusing, emphasizing the Saturday morning humor and the promise of the sworn enemy birds and pigs having to work together. Tracking had Angry Birds 2 a little higher than it managed, and what’s hurting the film seems to be its strangely timed release date. With many kids returning to school, why release a big family movie during mid-August? Not helping matters is competition from The Lion King (which managed to beat it…in its fifth week of release) and Dora and the Lost City of Gold, though the latter film is also suffering from late summer doldrums in terms of financial returns (and, like Angry Birds, in spite of a positive critical welcome).

Where does Birds go from here? The good news for it is that there are no new animated movies until DreamWorks Animation’s Abominable, and that doesn’t open until the end of September. Playmobil: The Movie had been set to launch on August 30th, but at the last minute got pushed back until December. This ensures Angry Birds no further threats for its target audience for more than a month, which should be enough to ensure some staying power, if nothing else.

Elsewhere at the box office, The Lion King is rapidly approaching the $500 million mark, and will beat Beauty and the Beast in a matter of days. Dora continued to do “okay” business, and now has a total of $33 million. Finally, Toy Story 4 is still in the game, with a current tally of $424 million.

Final figures are due tomorrow.

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