Every few years they break me down.
The combination of incessant media attention, heavy advertising, the “you have to see it in a theater” type of statements just get to me and...
I actually go to see a movie.
I don’t know why I do it. I’m not a movie guy. Don’t understand the appeal. Just don’t get it.
Occasionally though, I cave, make time to go (it’s always a mid-week matinee….$$$), find a theatre with self-serve butter for your popcorn, and just go.
It’s the same process each time. The results are the same too.
I end up standing in the parking lot shaking my fist in the air and triumphantly declaring: This is the last time you get me, Hollywood.
So far, so good. The last time they got me was Gravity in 2013.
They said: “It’s a cinematic masterpiece...You have to see it in the theaters...”.
Needless to say, I’m not a fan. Don’t pay much attention to the movie industry. But when I heard about this, I thought Hollywood’s set for another major flop…that we can learn from.
Hollywood’s Next Flop, You’re Next Winner
On May 20th Sony is set to release an Angry Birds movie.
Early trailers show it provides a back-story to the inanimate birds you and hundreds of
millions of others launched slingshot into structures trying to kill pigs hiding.
Have you ever wondered why the birds are so angry? This is the answer.
Of course, you don’t wonder that. No one does.
But here’s the thing, this movie will flop massively and point out a very critical thing few
investors understand about the most lucrative opportunities investors are looking at right
Let me explain.
You see, Angry Birds was by any measure a runaway success.
The game launched in 2009 and by 2012 it reported more than 650 million downloads and
200 million monthly users.
That’s Twitter-level success.
It also had endless merchandise for kids to beg their parents to buy and licensing deals for
theme parks too.
Inc. magazine even asked if Rovio, the creator of the Angry Birds game, could become “the
Seems crazy I know.
Rovio was attracting investment capital at a valuation around $2 billion. Not bad. But
nowhere near the $160 billion Disney valued at.
The media are no different than Wall Street though. They both will extrapolate all trends
indefinitely into the future. We know that’s not the case. Ever.
That was the “top of the market” in 2012.
It was peak Angry Birds, if you will.
Today, more than three years after the Angry Birds peak and a shelved IPO from the
company owners, we’re getting the movie version of it.
How will it go?
Well, history is a good guide.
Super Mario Bros. was the all-time greatest selling game in the 1980s. It was released
originally in Japan in 1985 and the U.S. in 1987.
Over the next two years two sequels would follow. None could do as well as the original.
Then in 1990, years after the peak, Super Mario Bros. the movie was released.
It cost $42 million to make. It probably cost $20 to $40 million to promote it. And the it
booked just over $20 million in box office revenues.
Angry Birds runs the same risk.
Kids who wanted the Angry Birds toys when they were nine are probably deep into
something else now that they’re 12.
But this story presents a very important lesson.
The Next Angry Birds
Angry Birds was a massive phenomenon whose impact can’t be underestimated.
Angry Birds was one of the first apps downloaded by millions of people.
It showed these marginal technology consumers what else is out there.
It took them beyond their using a smartphone to make calls and start using many more of its
Angry Birds played a major role in that.
It’s a lot like Super Mario Bros. in the 1980s.
It brought the home gaming console, basically a computer, into millions of homes and
launched a generation of tech-friendly users.
Sales of both were big. Cultural impact was even bigger.
That’s why we like Virtual Reality (VR) now.
We can and will point to the limitless potential of the technology.
The obvious growth is in gaming. It’s a natural evolution in technology and serves a target
market known for willingly seeking and adapting new tech.
There’s plenty of potential in the medical field.
Education is possibly the field set for most disruption by VR.
And, in the end, we’re sure there will be an Angry Birds-like app or game that pushes the
technology into the mainstream and it’s growth into the stratosphere.
You want to be invested well before then.