Box Office: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Delivers $65 Million Debut, Sequel Announced
By Brent Lang
Domestically, the film kicked up a sterling $65 million from 3,845 locations.
So cowabunga and cue the follow-up. Part two will land in theaters on June 3, 2016, with Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes returning again as a producer and screenwriters Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) coming back as screenwriters.
The sequel announcement comes after the film managed to hold off Guardians of the Galaxy. Analysts expected the Marvel film to take a bigger chunk out of Ninja Turtles’s profits given that both films were expected to appeal to younger males. The comicbook film still managed to bring in $41.5 million in its sophomore weekend, a 56% drop from its debut that pushed its stateside haul to $175.9 million. That’s roughly in line with what the first Thor and Captain America films did during the entirety of their domestic runs.
“Guardians is a great movie, and it’s always tough to come right behind a great movie,” said Megan Colligan, president of domestic marketing and distribution for Paramount. “Ultimately we played more like a family film and they played a notch older…The great thing about summer is the marketplace is able to expand to allow for these two films.”
Males made up 61% of Ninja Turtles’s opening audience, which was 45% under the age of 25. That was roughly the same as Guardians's debut weekend, which was 55% 26 and older, and 56% male. Ninja Turtles's success was fueled by two core groups. It appealed to both younger crowds and twenty-somethings who remembered the original 1990s television show, films and toylines with fondness.
“A lot of it was nostalgia,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Rentrak. “There is a generational affection for these characters.”
Ninja Turtles was a big $125 million gamble for Paramount Pictures, which is trying to demonstrate to its corporate leaders at Viacom that it can pull off big-screen synergy. In the case of Ninja Turtles, that meant capitalizing on the highly rated cartoon reboot that was overseen by Nickelodeon, another Viacom property.