IMG will be the exclusive publishing agent for the hit mobile game franchise Angry Birds, expanding its existing global licensing representation agreement with the brand’s parent company Rovio Entertainment.
This is the first time the Angry Birds brand’s consumer products and location-based entertainment licensing and publishing rights will be consolidated under one global agency. IMG will seek to expand the franchise’s current publishing program, which includes regional deals with Penguin Children’s Puffin and Nordic publishing house Storytel, with new global and regional deals for books, comic books, audiobooks and activity books featuring the brand’s characters.
IMG and Rovio Entertainment’s existing partnership has seen the franchise grow to a children’s sports and lifestyle collection with Venum, plush toys with Mighty Mojo, apparel with Four Seasons and a children’s headphone line with Powerlocus. Ahead of Angry Birds’ 15th anniversary in 2024, the two companies are also working together to grow the brand’s global footprint through location-based experiences. In 2023, Immersive Gamebox launched an immersive, life-size Angry Birds gaming experience in more than 20 locations across the U.S., U.K., U.A.E. and Germany and SCG is opening an Angry Birds themed café in New York City this year.
There have been several films and animations in the Angry Birds franchise.
The MultiChoice Group and Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky have revealed a new partnership. The new Showmax group will be 70% owned by MultiChoice and 30% by NBCUniversal and will cater to streaming customers across MultiChoice’s 50-market footprint in sub-Saharan Africa. The service will provide access to a pipeline of content licensed from NBCUniversal and Sky, third party content from HBO, Warner Brothers International, Sony and others, as well as live English Premier League (EPL) football and African content such as Showmax Originals and local content from MultiChoice’s proprietary channels including Mzansi Magic, Africa Magic and Maisha Magic.
Studiocanal has revealed that it has made a “significant investment” in U.K. production house Birdie Pictures, led by CEO Phil Temple (“Code 404”), who was formerly executive producer at Kudos, where he was most recently working on “This Town” by Steven Knight for BBC One. Birdie’s first project will be an adaptation of the new novel “The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels,” by bestselling author Janice Hallett.
The U.K.’s North East Screen (formerly Northern Film and Media) has appointed Oscar and BAFTA-winning film producer David Parfitt as their new chair. Parfitt’s credits include “Shakespeare in Love,” “My Week with Marilyn” and “The Father.” The appointment follows record investment in the screen industry in the North East region with a £25 million ($30 million) commitment from the BBC, a new partnership with 12 local authorities and three combined authorities bringing a further £11.4 million investment and significant new studio developments in the region.
“TONY! The Tony Blair Rock Opera,” penned by Harry Hill and Steve Brown, has set a new cast for its London run and U.K. tour. Jack Whittle is set to play Tony Blair while Howard Samuels is Peter Mandelson and Tori Burgess is Cherie Blair. Other characters who crop up in the musical (played by the cast) include Liam Gallagher and Osama Bin Laden. The show is set to have a limited run at the Leicester Square Theatre from April 15 followed by a U.K. tour (which includes Blair’s old Sedgefield constituency). It will also spend four weeks at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August. Blair himself has not endorsed and is not affiliated with the production.