Drumming up approximately $65 million in North America and $97.3 million worldwide through three days and demolishing all expectations was more than enough for Paramount to quickly announce a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel is on the way.
Michael Bay will return to produce with Platinum Dunes along with executive producers Andre Nemec and Josh Appelbaum, who wrote the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles screenplay and will once again be tasked with penning a story about mutated turtles and their arch-nemesis, Shredder. Paramount stopped short of announcing that Jonathan Liebesman would return to direct Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.
In an aggressive and bullish move on the rebooted Turtles big-screen franchise, Paramount has also set a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel release date of June 3, 2016. Sony’s Sausage Party starring Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen is currently the only film that has staked out that date.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 release date is book-ended by some highly anticipated genre films. The previous weekend sees the release of two heavy-hitting sequels: Disney’s Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass starring Johnny Depp, and Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse. Sony’s Uncharted, based on the PlayStation game franchise from developer Naughty Dog, opens a week later on June 10, 2016.
“Launching a new take on the Turtles into the feature film world was a daunting task because as fans of them ourselves, we felt a great responsibility to ensure audiences were going to experience everything they loved about the Turtles, while also getting to see them brought to life in a way they had never been seen before,” Paramount’s film group President, Adam Goodman, stated in the announcement. “The result exceeded our high expectations and the response to the film is beyond great, making it all the more fun to get started on the continuation of their story.”
Less than a week ago Paramount was expecting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to open between $40 and $45 million on the high end. After Thursday night showings soared with $4.6 million, estimates ticked up to the $50 million range. Families turned out in force over the weekend for matinees thanks in part to a clever marketing campaign and ongoing Nickelodeon animated series, defying the abysmal 19 percent approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes.