The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies) exceeded box office estimates and battled its way to the #1 spot over the weekend, earning $65 million and a sequel in the process. The “heroes on the half-shell” flick knocked the previous reigning champ, Guardians of the Galaxy, out of first place. It, like most past #1 movies this summer, only managed to hold onto the coveted first place spot one weekend. Guardians of the Galaxy now has fallen to the #2 position at the box office, thanks to “Turtle Power.”
While Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles might not have had a $90 million+ weekend like some of this summer’s biggest blockbusters — including Guardians of the Galaxy — it still had a very respectable opening weekend at the box office. It had the fourth-biggest August debut in history.The Michael Bay-produced movie, directed by Jonathan Liebesman, did so well probably due to a combination of factors. These included having a powerhouse producer, great special effects, lots of action and having human actors such as Whoopi Goldberg, Will Arnett and Megan “April O’Neil” Fox in the cast. Tohoru Masamune plays the evil villain, Shredder.
One cannot discount how important the nostalgia factor was, either, in the weekend success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, nor the fact that it is one of the hottest cartoons today on Nickelodeon. Combine that with the merchandising involved, toys, clothing, pillow cases, sheets, vitamins, shampoo and other products on the market bearing the likenesses of Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michaelangelo, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it is little wonder that the movie has kicked the collective butts of all of its competition to become #1.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, though it is rated PG-13, is a movie which millions of parents who grew up loving the cartoon series have planned since they first heard about the flick to take their children to see along with them. It is a movie that can be seen and enjoyed by the entire family, though perhaps not the youngest kids. There is a surprising amount of humor in the flick, also, which creates a nice balance. The movie will hit theaters in the U.K. on October 17, 2014.
Paramount has taken CGI to new heights, as the realistic looking on-screen renditions of the pizza-devouring, sewer-dwelling Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are computer generated. Every facial expression and twitch of a muscle in the legs and arms of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is lovingly rendered, to make it seem as if they are living and breathing creatures rather than creations of computers.
Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies announced on Sunday that because the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has done so well its debut weekend, they will make a sequel to it, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. Michael Bay will be back to produce it and the writing team who penned the screenplay for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will also write the screenplay for the sequel. The planned release date for it is June 3, 2016.
According to Brad Grey, the chairman and CEO of Paramount, “We are thrilled with this weekend’s result, the enduring power of this franchise, and the opportunity to make another one.”
The sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, will face competition from movies like the animated adult comedy Sausage Party from Sony and Marvel Studios’ X-Men: Apocalypse. The X-Men movie will open just a week earlier. If the Marvel flick becomes #1 at the box office its debut weekend and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 knocks it out of the spot and takes over as the #1 movie, that will be proof that this burgeoning franchise has legs.
Falling to second place this weekend was the Marvel/Disney collaboration, Guardians of the Galaxy. It stars Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, an Zoe Saldana. Guardians of the Galaxy took in $41.5 million its second weekend, for an estimated total domestic take so far of $175.9 million.
Into the Storm (Warner Brothers) took over the third spot at the weekend box office. This disaster flick premiered on 3,434 movie screens across America and earned $18 million. This was likely not the sort of response that Warner Brothers had wanted, but the movie’s production costs were relatively low, at just $50 million. Dan Fellman, the president of domestic distribution for Into the Storm, stated that he was confident that the movie will still end up being a profitable one for Warner Brothers.
According to Fellman, “I’m happy being there today looking at the competitive environment.”
Produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, the Dreamworks movie The Hundred-Foot Journey debuted in fourth place at the box office. It is a lavish movie about a standoff between a high-end French restaurant’s stern proprietor, played by Dame Helen Mirren, and the owner of a new Indian restaurant, which opened across the street. The movie earned only $11.2 million on 2,023 movie screens in the United States and Canada.
Lucy hung in at the box office in fifth place, raking in $9.3 million. The movie, starring actress Scarlet Johansson and Morgan Freeman, debuted a couple of weekends ago, but was knocked out of first place at the box office by Guardians of the Galaxy. It is the highest-grossing non-Marvel movie that Scarlet Johansson has starred in.
Step Up All In (Summit) premiered in sixth place over the weekend, taking in just $6.6 million in 2,072 movie theaters. This performance did not meet Summit’s rather low expectations for the film, another addition to its dance competition franchise. However, overseas it has managed to do better, earning $37.7 million in 34 countries.
In seventh place was Get On Up, the James Brown biopic. It only grossed $5 million, bringing its overall domestic box office take to just $25 million.
What If, the romantic comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe, earned $130,000 on a mere 20 movie screens in just 10 markets. Magic in the Moonlight, Woody Allen’s latest movie, went from being show on just 65 screens to 170. It grossed $803,922 over the weekend.
The big news at the box office this weekend was that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles battled its way to the #1 spot in domestic earnings, taking in an estimated $65 million. As has been the case, in general, this summer, the movie Guardians of the Galaxy only managed to retain its #1 spot at the box office for one weekend. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would like to buck that trend, but whether they can do that or not remains to be seen.
Written By Douglas Cobb