5 Reasons TMNT: Mutant Mayhem Is A Bigger Box Office Hit Than You Realize – /Film

Summer 2023 is winding down, but we still have a few big movies left to squeeze some more juice out of the year’s biggest season. One of those movies arrived last week in the form of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.” Directed by Jeff Rowe, the animated take on Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s comic book heroes has been met with near-universal praise, and that’s already paying off for Paramount Pictures at the box office in the early going.

Despite hefty competition (more on that in a minute), the film debuted to $28 million domestically over the weekend. But that’s only part of the story, as Paramount released the film mid-week to get a jump on the competition. With a big Wednesday and Thursday to its name as well, “Mutant Mayhem” has already made $55.3 million, including $46.8 million domestically. Sure, those numbers may seem a little modest compared to what movies like “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” did this summer, but the face value of it all is a little deceiving. Truth be told, this movie’s prospects look very, very good when we zoom out and look at the larger picture. 

Let’s get into it why that is, exactly.

The budget was beyond reasonable

First and foremost, it must be said that Paramount and the filmmakers were remarkably thrifty with this one. Somehow, “Mutant Mayhem” carries a production budget of just $70 million (not counting marketing). For context, Pixar’s “Elemental” cost $200 million, while “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” carried a $100 million price tag. However they managed to pull it off, this means the movie will get to profitability much sooner than other recent theatrical animated films. It’s not easy to make animation that looks this good, this cheap, particularly when working within a big franchise. But it goes a long way in setting up this incarnation of “TMNT” for longterm success.

It did well against major competition

One of the perhaps overlooked elements of the movie’s performance on opening weekend was the fact that it was up against absolutely gigantic competition. Yes, we had “Barbie” joining the $1 billion club on just its third weekend in theaters, while “Oppenheimer” continued to explode thanks in large part to dominating IMAX screens across the globe, but “Meg 2: The Trench” also did better-than-expected business – particularly overseas. So sure, maybe the heroes in a half-shell had to settle for fourth place but the fact that the #4 movie on a given weekend pulled in $28 million after having a successful mid-week rollout is nothing to sneeze at. We are no longer in a situation where it’s number one or nothing. It’s all relative and, as long as moviegoers show up, placement on the charts is not always the most relevant factor.

This is only the beginning

Another key thing to consider is that this movie is just about a week into its run. It still has a long way to go. More importantly, “Mutant Mayhem” has yet to roll out in most international territories. The movie will be released in other countries around the world through September 22, when it opens in Japan. That being the case, its best days are likely ahead, especially when we look at how these movies have played in recent history. 2014’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” made just shy of 40% of its $485 million global total in North America, while 2016’s “Out of the Shadows” made just over 33% of its $245 million haul stateside. So Paramount can and should expect big numbers overseas as the rollout continues.

The movie is poised to have long legs

Beyond the fact that most of the world has yet to have the chance to pay to see the new “TMNT” film yet, it also is poised to have a long shelf life in theaters. Word of mouth figures to be stellar with this one, as it boasts a ridiculously great 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes to go with an equally great A CinemaScore. You can read /Film’s glowing 9 out of 10 review right here. The point is that certain movies can have a big opening and drop off a cliff if genuine buzz doesn’t follow. In this case, every indicator we have suggests solid buzz that should keep moviegoers coming week in and week out.

No other big animated movies coming any time soon

The biggest factor of all though in determining this movie’s eventual success is how sneakily well-positioned it is on the calendar. Looking ahead, it’s got next to no direct competition in terms of a big, wide-release, theatrical animated movie for months. The closest thing is “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie” on September 23, but that is going for a much younger crowd. You’re not likely to get teenagers or nostalgic adults heading out to see that one on opening weekend. After that? We’ve got nothing until “Trolls Band Together” on November 17. It feels very much like the Turtles are going to benefit like “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” did earlier this year just by straight-up being the only game in town. Cowabunga indeed.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” is in theaters now.

Source From: www.slashfilm.com

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