Box Office: 'Angry Birds' hatches $39M debut; 'Neighbors 2' nabs $21.8M

'Angry Birds' Movie Released This Weekend
'Angry Birds' Movie Released This Weekend

Angry Birds has officially flown the coop from popular mobile game to full-fledged movie stardom. Sony and Rovio's animated film took to the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office with a strong debut of$39 million, while this crowded weekend's other new releases -- comedy sequel Neighbors 2 and detective caper The Nice Guys -- struggled to take flight.

Angry Birds, directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, beat expectations to take the top slot over Disney and Marvel's Captain America: Civil War, which is now in its third week in theaters. Civil War earned another $33.1 million (54 percent drop from its third weekend) to brings its tally to domestic total to $347.4 million. Worldwide, the superhero film passed the $1 billion milestone Friday, to become Disney's 10th billion-dollar club member, and the 19th highest grossing movie of all-time to date globally.

Worldwide, Angry Birds (which features the voices of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride and Maya Rudolph), earned an estimated $94 million this weekend, bringing its total to $150 million. It flew to No. 1 in 48 markets around the world. Plus, with summer kicking off and children out of school, the 3D animated film will likely have strong multiples in the weeks to come as families head to theaters.

"We are thrilled that with our partners Rovio, Sony Pictures and Imageworks, we were able to transform a worldwide video game brand into a global movie brand," says Sony's marketing chief Josh Greenstein. "We had a fantastic date for a family film, and the marketing really tried to keep it relevant to whatever was happening at the time."

The marketing campaign started nine months ago, with Sony creating custom content for social media surrounding major holidays and other events in the zeitgeist. The campaign, one of the largest in the studio's history, included tie-ins with more than 100 partners, including McDonald's and Panasonic.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Universal's follow-up to its 2014 comedy hit, took in an estimated $21.8 million for its domestic debut. That's a 56 percent drop from the first film's tally of $49 million when it hit theaters in 2014. Going into the crowded weekend, tracking had the film (which earned a B CinemaScore) landing higher, in the low $30 million-range.

The sequel, directed by Nicholas Stoller, sees the return of Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron. New castmembers include Chloe Grace Moretz and Kiersey Clemons, who play the sorority girls living next door.

The comedy also expanded into 10 more foreign markets this weekend for a total 45 territories in release. The international weekend total is an estimated $6 million for an international total of $30 million and a worldwide total is $51.8 million.

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The Nice Guys, which stars Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, also had a soft opening (although slightly ahead of initial tracking) to earn an estimated $11.3 million from 2,865 theaters, enough for a No. 4 finish. The film follows a private detective and an enforcer who team up to find a missing woman. Set in 1970s Los Angeles, the Shane Black-helmed project had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, and is produced by Joel Silver.

Disney landed with two films in the top 5 as its massive hit live-action/CGI film The Jungle Book continues to do strong business in its sixth week out.It added another $11 million to its total, bringing its domestic cume to $327.5 million.