Box Office: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Delivers $65 Million Debut, Sequel Announced

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Paramount Pictures was so pleased by “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’s” $93.7 million global debut this weekend that it said it is moving forward with plans for a sequel to the franchise reboot.

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'” 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'” opening audience, which was 45% under the age of 25. That was roughly the same as “Guardians'” debut weekend, which was 55% 26 and older, and 56% male. “Ninja Turtles” 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.

“This is a really important property for all of Viacom,” said Colligan. “The show is a big hit, and in terms of the toys and merchandise, kids have a huge appetite for it and really, really love this brand.”

A week after “Guardians of the Galaxy” broke records for the month with its $94.3 million bow, “Ninja Turtles” scored the fourth-biggest August debut in history. In addition to the Marvel film, it trails “The Bourne Ultimatum” ($69.3 million) and “Rush Hour 2” ($67.4 million).

After a summer of dwindling ticket sales, the box office rebound sparked by “Guardians” continued this weekend. Overall, domestic receipts were up more than 16% from the same weekend a year ago when “Elysium” and “We’re the Millers” both debuted.

Disaster film “Into the Storm” received a tepid reception from moviegoers, picking up a disappointing $18 million when it premiered across 3,434 screens. However, the Warner Bros. release cost a lean $50 million to produce. The lower price tag and the CGI-heavy film’s potential with foreign audiences led domestic distribution president Dan Fellman to express confidence that the storm chaser film will turn a profit.

“It’s all about the bottom line,” said Fellman. “It’s never my wish to open up at No. 3, but I’m happy being there today looking at the competitive environment.”

“Into the Storm’s” demographics were noticeably different than the other action-oriented releases. It skewed female (58% of the opening weekend audience) and older (71% of the debut crowd was over the age of 25). Fellman said the film played in cities in the mid-West and the South, areas that are no strangers to tornadoes.

DreamWorks’ “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” the story of a high-end French restauranteurs standoff with the proprietor of a new Indian restaurant, bowed to $11.2 million in 2,023 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. The film carries a $22 million production budget and traded heavily on the appeal of producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey. It’s a humdrum opening and the picture will need older crowds to continue to show up in the coming weeks if it wants to venture into the black.

Summit’s “Step Up All In,” the fifth installment in the dance competition franchise, debuted to $6.6 million in 2,072 locations, less than even the studio’s modest expectations. The film has been received more warmly overseas, where it has generated $37.7 million from 34 foreign territories.

Among holdovers, “Lucy” secured fifth place with $9.3 million and now stands at $97.4 million domestically. It passes “He’s Just Not That Into You” ($93.9 million) as Scarlett Johansson’s highest grossing, non-Marvel movie.

With less to shout about, the James Brown biopic “Get on Up” failed to capitalize on its A CinemaScore rating, falling 63% in its second weekend to $5 million. It has made a paltry $23 million so far.

In limited release, Daniel Radcliffe took off the Harry Potter specs and tackled the romantic comedy genre. “What If,” his stab at “meet cute,” grossed an estimated $130,000 on 20 screens in 10 markets, while Woody Allen’s “Magic in the Moonlight” expanded from 65 to 170 screens this weekend, adding $803,922 to its $2.4 million total.

IFC Films’ “Boyhood,” perhaps the biggest critical hit of the summer, continued to build on strong word-of-mouth. The indie darling expanded to 500 screens grossing over $2 million. Its total now stands at $10.7 million, making it the third-highest grossing Richard Linklater film, beyond only his more overtly commercial offerings, “School of Rock” and “The Bad News Bears.”

Correction: An email alert for this article mistakenly stated $65 million as a global box office figure instead of a domestic total.

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  1. doc says:

    There is no point complaining about a sequel. We knew it was coming. As long as sh!t movies like this and Transformers continue to make money there will be sequels while movies like Chronicle and Dredd sequels will never happen because people don’t care about quality. Blame “Hollywood” all you want but it’s the dumb@ss movie going public that keeps going to these movies and that is why they keep being made. As long as it makes money quality doesn’t matter. Thanks China for Transformers 4 making over a billion dollars. Now go back to building your ghost cities.

  2. Bryan says:

    Hopefully we can get a real plot and real character development next time. Also, ditch Megan Fox and the absolutely hideous turtle CGI.

  3. I loved the movie, these haters and critics are crazy! What were they expecting? im glad i didn’t listen to early bias review and saw it for myself. Suck it HATERS! Gawabunga!

  4. Rhys says:

    TMNT movie was awesome. Stuff all the haters !!

  5. Dan says:

    The original show is from the 80’s not the 90’s.

    • anonymous says:

      Wasn’t this a cartoon decades ago? and they made a movie of it? I would ask ‘why’ but I can see there are, apparently, fans. Or kids who just need something to do in the dog days of summer…..I’m more impressed that 15 year olds are posting opinions to Variety! I should think they wouldn’t know what Variety was, and would otherwise be sexting naked pictures to each other than dissecting this …. uh, movie.

  6. TurtleLoveThisIsNot says:

    Everything about this movie looks….terrible, just terrible. I loved the show when I was a kid and the original movies, but all of the information I have seen about this movie, the pictures, the trailers, and especially the look of the turtles themselves is horrendous. The special effects suffer from the same bad quality that plaques even the most expensive Hollywood blockbusters these days. And I don’t think they could have cast a worse April O’Neil if they tried. People are way to gullible and surprisingly easy to entertain these day. If my family watches it it will probably be when it hits Netflix. Personally, I won’t support it financially, because then I would have to deal with Megan Fox’s terrible acting for even longer–and Johnny Knoxville, what a terrible human being and another reason not to support it. Others have, obviously, but at least I know that I wasn’t one of them.

  7. Yuliana says:

    Awesome movie, loved cartoons and it was a nice rewind on the past.

  8. Idle says:

    I’d wager Paramount is going to be stupidly disappointed come June of 2016.

    • Idle says:

      Actually, I take it back. Probably going to be another terrible film, another profitable hit. I don’t even know why I’m writing this.

  9. Danny Rose says:

    But…why?

  10. of course there will be a sequel, there will also be a third. then it will be remade by someone else and start again.
    funniest thing about it is, even though it made $65mil so far they will only claim about $20 in profit.

    • Jacob says:

      Uhh what. They’ll easily become a success. Probably make around $400-$500 million before it’s all said and done and then comes the digital/Blu ray sales which will be very very high. And none of that is even counting the merchandising which will be huge not just for the movie but the cartoon as well. Kathy you’re an idiot and need to just stop

    • Irrational hate, WTF? says:

      KATHY, your comment is so abnormal, mentally incoherent, and displays sorely undeveloped thought process. What exactly is your point because your rambling shenanigans are all over the place. You’re making asinine assumptions about a film that has only been in release three days. Any point that you try to make comes off as ridiculous and begs the question why are you worried about the profits? What difference does it make to your life?

      • Kate H says:

        I’m not sure how a 44-word post that expresses two points very succinctly can be accused of being “incoherent” or “rambling”. Kathy’s comments are also rather more concise than anything you express in what appears to be less a comment than verbal flatulence. Please could you explain why exactly you find it “abnormal” or “asinine” to express cynicism about the life-cycle of the average Hollywood franchise or blockbuster creative accountancy? Further, could you answer your own question – what difference does Kathy’s post make to *your* life to elicit such a response?

  11. JC says:

    Pretty awesome. I saw the film (which was sold out) and enjoyed. So far everyone I have spoken to who saw the film – enjoyed it. Then you look at the negative review article by Forbes Contributor, Scott Mendelsohn put out just a few days ago entitled:

    “Review: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Is A Cowabummer”
    http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml

    “The bad news is that the film runs the risk of playing to no one, with parents of young kids turned off by the rating and adults and older kids disinterested due to having outgrown the franchise and/or wanting to see Guardians of the Galaxy instead.” – Scott Mendelsohn, Forbes Contributor

  12. Stygian says:

    Reblogged this on Stygian's Space and commented:
    Everyone KNEW there was gonna be a sequel.

  13. Matthew Coury says:

    cowabunga! that was all i wanted…krang bebop and rocksteady

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