Did Angry Birds push #Rio to number one at the box office?

20th Century Fox and Rovio Mobile
(CBS/What's Trending) And, the number one movie of the Easter weekend is: "Rio"! The feature was the first film in 2011 to break $40 million during its opening weekend and continued its upward trend by pulling in another $26.3 million this past holiday weekend. In an otherwise dour year, "Rio" has made back the relatively cheap $90 million it cost to make in a little over a week -- not including marketing costs, of course.

I'm betting you've probably heard of the fowl-mouthed (no pun intended) animated feature, thanks to some other birds of another feather. "Rio" brilliantly teamed up with Rovio to create "Angry Birds Rio," the newest game in the addictive mobile game series. Part advertisement and part business partnership -- but mostly brilliant marketing campaign -- "Angry Birds Rio" helped spread the word about the movie by appealing to a dedicated fan base who were already obsessed with the flying creatures.

In fact, it seems that more people tweeting about the game than they are about the movie: 

You can't just give "Angry Birds Rio" credit for the complete success of the movie. The "Rio" team did employ traditional marketing techniques. The movie trailer premiered on May 20, 2010 on YouTube -- almost one year before the movie hit theaters -- and was seen with screenings of "Shrek Ever After" the day after. It was also attached to some of the biggest kids' flicks of the year, including "Toy Story 3," "Megamind" and "Despicable Me."

"Rio" even partook in the traditional biggest marketing event of the year: the Superbowl. The production company spilled $3 million for a 30-second spot during the 2011 game for an "Angry Birds Rio"-themed commercial. It proved to be a brilliant marketing scheme, as fans of the game were buzzing about the code hidden in the ad, which featured secret levels in the game.

Movie-themed games that are created to promote the film, especially in the online world, aren't a new invention, but "Angry Birds" was one of the first-high profile mobile games to partake in the strategy. We'll have to stay tuned to see if the "Angry Bird" buzz will help carry the film further. While it helped that the movie and the mobile game were a perfect pair, it will be interesting to see if any other gaming-film partnerships will arise due to the success of this duo.
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