When Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out in 2014, no one knew what to expect. Sure you had those who were certain it would be horrible because Michael Bay was involved. Reasonably however, most were cautiously optimistic. That optimism was reflected in the film’s box office, netting it an impressive $493 million on a $125 million budget. It was no surprise that a sequel was green-lit.
2016’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, didn’t fare so well. With an apparent fan base, the sequel’s poor performance at the box office came as a shock to producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller. TMNT II went on to make a paltry $245 million during its theatrical run. Speaking with Collider on the issue, Form and Fuller explain why they think the sequel failed to captivate, and the future of the franchise.
Andrew Form said that after how well the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie did, that they were rocked by the lack of enthusiasm for Out of the Shadows. He also expresses how much everyone involved loved making every aspect of the film. From Super Bowl spots to the movie itself, “… we felt so good about our material…” Despite momentum from the first film, and the hype surrounding the second, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles just couldn’t maintain an audience.
Form: “…for some reason it did not find the audience that the first movie found. And we talk about it all the time, and we tried to figure it out, but we cannot put our finger on what happened. We really can’t. It’s just one of those things where we feel like we made a really great movie; we thought at the time that our release date was great, and we added all these new characters with Bebop and Rocksteady and Baxter Stockwell had a big role in the movie and Casey Jones and for some reason when it came to opening weekend…Even before the movie came out, we were feeling great. And you wake up two days before the movie opens and you go, “Wow, I don’t know if this movie is tracking as well as it should.”
Form goes on to say they learned a valuable lesson from this however.
“I think one thing we did learn is you really need to give—you can’t just add characters to a movie and expect that to be what’s fresh. It’s a sequel. You have to give the audience something that’s really new and fresh. Maybe just adding characters from the canon, that wasn’t enough.”
How right he is. More isn’t always better, and if TMNT II didn’t prove that, I don’t know what will. As for if they are making a third Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, Andrew Form said this: “I don’t think there’s Turtles 3, but I wouldn’t say there’s never going to be another Turtles movie.”
Personally I think the reason the second film didn’t do as well as the first is that people were just giving the franchise a chance. Hoping it would be great. Ultimately the first film was panned, both critically and by audiences. Voting with their wallets, no one went to see the arguably (slightly) better sequel. Now, a franchise lays dead. Hopefully the same fate doesn’t befall another beloved Saturday morning classic when the Power Rangers film comes out. Fingers crossed.
What do you geeks think? Did any of you want a sequel? Glad to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles end? Let us know in the comments where you stand on this.