‘Angry Birds’ maker wants phones out as film credits roll

Mikael Hed, executive chairman at Rovio Animation Studios. (AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The creators of “Angry Birds” hope movie theater audiences don’t get their feathers ruffled if some filmgoers pluck out their mobile devices at the end of “The Angry Birds Movie” and point them at the screen.

Rovio Entertainment is dropping a code in the credits of the upcoming animated film inspired by the mobile gaming sensation that will hatch an exclusive level for a new pinball-inspired game called “Angry Birds Action!”

The latest entry in Rovio’s ever-expanding “Angry Birds” empire is populated by characters and locales from “The Angry Birds Movie,” which features Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad and Danny McBride as a trio of the series’ feathered protagonists.

“It’s really about continuing the story,” said Miika Tams, vice president of games at Espoo, Finland-based studio Rovio. “Everyone is usually distracted after watching a movie, but we wanted audiences to be distracted by wanting to go back into the game.”

A level set on Piggy Island, home to the Angry Birds’ snout-faced adversaries, can only be unlocked if players pluck out their mobile devices and zap a code displayed during the film’s credits when it debuts May 20.

“This takes place after the movie is over, so it won’t disturb the actual movie-going experience,” said Mikael Hed, executive chairman at Rovio Animation Studios. “When we were coming up with the concept, we thought about something like this happening during the movie, but we decided that would be totally disrupting.”

Despite the flap earlier this month over AMC toying with the notion of texting-friendly theaters, Hed said exhibitors haven’t squawked about moviegoers holding mobile devices up to screens.

“We haven’t had any pushback from anybody,” noted Hed.

Other so-called “birdcodes” will also be available on “Angry Birds” merchandise and marketing materials. When scanned, the images will unlock various power-ups, mini-games, animated clips and augmented reality content in “Angry Birds Action!” Hed said that there are more than 24 codes.

“Angry Birds Action!” is scheduled to launch this week for Android and Apple devices. The original “Angry Birds” game took flight in 2009 and has been downloaded more than 2.8 billion times.