×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews Selected for AFI's Life Achievement Award

    The American Film Institute Board of Trustees has selected Julie Andrews as the recipient of the 48th AFI Life Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Andrews on April 25 in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be telecast on TNT. “Julie Andrews is practically perfect in every way,” said Kathleen Kennedy, chair of the [...]

  • 4127_D001_00007_RC Phyllis Logan stars as Mrs.

    'Downton Abbey' to Dominate Box Office Weekend With $30 Million

    The feature film version of “Downton Abbey” is heading for an impressive $30 million opening weekend at 3,079 sites for an easy victory at the North American box office, early estimates showed Friday. The launch of Brad Pitt’s space drama “Ad Astra” will land in second with about $20 million, while Sylvester Stallone’s action-thriller “Rambo: [...]

  • BETWEEN TWO FERNS, 2019, PH_0027.RAF

    Film Review: 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie'

    If you’re a fan of “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis,” the fake public-access talk show that Zach Galifianakis has been hosting online, for three to six minutes a pop, over the last 10 years, then you’ll probably like “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” the snark-lite 82-minute road movie that Galifianakis and his director and [...]

  • The Irishman

    Martin Scorsese, Frances McDormand, Donald Sutherland Join Lineup of France's Lumiere Festival

    Martin Scorsese’s eagerly awaited Netflix movie “The Irishman” wasn’t completed on time to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival, but Thierry Fremaux, Cannes’s topper, managed to pin down the high-profile movie and Scorsese himself for the upcoming Lumiere festival in Lyon next month. Dedicated to heritage movies, the Lumiere festival was created 10 years [...]

  • 'Aladdin' Star Mena Massoud Calls for

    'Aladdin' Star Mena Massoud Calls for a Broader Diversity of Storytelling in Movies and TV

    The star of “Aladdin,” Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud, called for a greater diversity of storytelling in movies and television when he spoke at the glamorous opening ceremony Thursday of the 3rd edition of Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival. Massoud, whose credits include Amazon’s “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” and Hulu’s “Reprisal,” lauded “the power of art” [...]

  • 4127_D015_00199_RC(l-r) Laura Carmichael stars as Lady

    Box Office: 'Downton Abbey' Beats 'Ad Astra,' 'Rambo: Last Blood' on Thursday Night

    “Downton Abbey,” the movie continuation of the hit TV series centering on the Crawley family, has won Thursday previews with $2.1 million from 2,800 North American locations. Meanwhile, Brad Pitt’s space drama “Ad Astra” has launched with $1.5 million in previews, while Sylvester Stallone’s action-thriller “Rambo: Last Blood” scooped up $1.3 million at nearly 2,900 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content