While Jonathan Leibesman‘s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wasn’t this fan’s cup of tea, earning almost four times its budget worldwide easily laid the groundwork for a sequel from Paramount. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows added a bunch of fan favorite characters from the comic book franchise and producers were sure they had another hit on their hands, but things didn’t quite work out that way at the box office. Producer Andrew Form recently talked about how TMNT 2 performed and the reasons why.
While talking with Collider about his movie Ouija: Origin of Evil producers Andrew Form laid it all out.
We were obviously surprised at the box office results. We loved the movie. We loved making the movie. From our first Super Bowl teaser to everything we launched, we felt so good about our material, and 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.” Then you hope, and then Thursday night happens and your midnights come in and you’re like, “That’s not what Movie 1 did,” and then sure enough your weekend comes and it’s nowhere near what anyone thought, and it’s nowhere near Movie 1, and, before you know it, it’s over. We’re still so proud of the movie; it just didn’t find an audience. We really don’t know why.
Was there a disconnect between the filming and editing, did they make the movie they set out to make? Form said:
We set out to make a poppy, colorful, fun, add all these fun characters that people had grown up with—and like you said, bring the cartoon to life, and we feel like [director] Dave Green executed that perfectly and made a great movie, so what we set out for, we feel like we accomplished. It just didn’t find an audience.
What did Form and others take away from the second movie:
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.
Form doesn’t give final word on TMNT 3, but his answer all but shuts the door on one in the near future.
I don’t think there’s Turtles 3, but I wouldn’t say there’s never going to be another Turtles movie.
The TMNT franchise probably needs a rest, take it back to the small screen in another animated series. Take the time to build another generation of fans and then take back the big screen in ten years for another run.
What do you think?