Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Huge Hit

Paramount, elated 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.

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 Turtle’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 of Galaxy 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 Turtle’s” opening audience, which was 45% under the age of 25. That was roughly the same as “Guardian’s” 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.