The Angry Birds Movie trailer arrives at an awkward time for Rovio, the franchise's creator. In October 2014, the mobile game developer announced it would lay off up to 130 employees, roughly 16 percent of its workforce. In March 2015, the company revealed that its profits had fallen 73 percent in 2014, with merchandising sales dropping 41 percent. Last month, as competitors like King, the makers of Candy Crush Saga, continue to dominate the top of the mobile gaming space, Rovio announced plans to cut another 260 jobs, over 30 percent of its employees. All of which is to say The Angry Birds Movie, scheduled for release on May 20th, 2016, feels more than ever like Rovio's last best hope.
The trailer flaunts what The Angry Birds Movie has going for it: a beautiful look, a talented cast (Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Peter Dinklage), and familiar — if not quite beloved — characters. Whether or not the trailer's jokes land, we'll leave that for you to decide. The film may be Rovio's last moment parachute; or it may be the final words as Angry Birds crashes back to Earth.
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