Now, say what you like about the rebooted #TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles franchise — and many people have — but its first installment sure did make a whole lot of money. Indeed, way back in 2014, the series looked to be in rude health, with the first film making a solid $493 million worldwide off of a $125 million budget. Heck, it even opened to $65 million in the US, something that both surprised many at the time, and seemingly indicated an untapped market for snarky turtle-themed action comedy. Sure, the reviews weren't great, but with #boxoffice that solid, no one really seemed to mind.
Then came this year's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. The second installment in the franchise only managed a final international haul of $245 million (from a slightly expanded budget) along with a substantially reduced US opening weekend of $35 million. And, so...
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 Isn't Happening, It Seems
That, at least, is what one of the franchise's producers, Andrew Form, seems to think. As he recently revealed in an interview with Collider, the production team were pretty solidly blindsided by the sequel's lack of success:
"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."
And, as a result, Form is necessarily pretty downbeat — some might say painfully realistic — about the franchise's chances of returning to theaters in the immediate future:
"I don’t think there’s 'Turtles 3,' but I wouldn’t say there’s never going to be another Turtles movie."
Which, for the presumably substantial majority of fans who thought the #TMNT franchise was a missed opportunity, yet still retain a fondness for the core premise and characters, might just be the best outcome available right now.
Still want more TMNT-themed fun, though? Never fear, we've got you covered right here.
In the meantime, what do you think? What would you like to see next from the TMNT franchise? Let us know below!