Yes, I know that the image above does not come from Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as Liebesman’s Turtles barely take the time to do any boy-ish celebrating like this. What the Michael Bay-produced reboot did do, however, is pack enough theaters this weekend to confirm to Paramount Pictures that they have a new Teenage Mutant Ninja franchise on their hands. Yes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is officially on the way. And Michael Bay is once again going to be the guiding light behind it. Call your favorite pizza place and ask them to just throw one in the garbage for you.
Paramount officially announced the sequel this morning, as the Ninja Turtles will presumably have earned around $65 million by the time this weekend is through. This is by far the biggest opening for any martial arts-learned reptiles, more than doubling the opening weekend for the 2007 animated film TMNT, and was more than the opening weekends for the first three Turtles films combined. (In fact, that film’s total domestic box office was only $54 million.) It’s no surprise—as the Platinum Dunes production was mired by controversy, from its alien origins to its inexplicable use of Megan Fox to its completely wasted cast of all stars—that pre-release buzz, however negative, combined with a prime end-of-summer release date to cram people of all ages into the theaters to see just how crazy this remake might get. Unfortunately, as I said in my review, it’s more boring and pandering than anything else, and nothing really worked.