It was a weekend battlefront of the oddities. Star-Lord, Drax, Rocket, Groot, and Gamora sought to keep the weekend from the combined might of Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo. In an epic battle of comic book films, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles surprisingly overcame the odds and debuted to an impressive $65 million, thus cementing their win against the likelihood of a Guardians’ holdover. The feat, though one would believe is expected considering their wide release debut, proves a few notions that have contributed to their success.
Rise Of The Younger Kids
While Guardians of the Galaxy had a much broad audience ranging from teens to late twenties, their slightly more mature themes, language, and imagery separated the family grouping. If you consider things like a floating severed head in space, Drax wanting to remove someone’s spine, the intergalactic strange that was sleeping in Star-Lord’s room, and the trigger happy baby hating Rocket Raccoon, much of the Ninja Turtles’ win is owed to their targeted demographic: those hyper and attention deficient children shy of their teenage years.
It was pretty clear from the trailer that the Michael Bay and Nickolodeon collaboration is nothing short of what the kiddies want: large animals, Kung Fu, and explosions. Join that with the same adolescent antics that won us over the age of 25 as children and what seen is a reboot befitted for the younger generation. With that in mind it doesn’t matter that the critics weren’t so forgiving as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ mediocre word of mouth and 33 metascore rating was able to ward off the Guadians’ A cinemascore and 76 metascore. In Paramont’s point of view, so long as they won over the raging youth they’ve already won the battle.
Reign Of The Older Kids
The surprise surge of the box office success is much fueled from the forgotten generation that the studios weren’t necessarily intending on banking on, those in the late twenties and early thirties whom grew up with the original heroes in a half shell.
Contributing an estimated 55% of the audience were those nostalgic adults whom remember an era predating the CG movement, where Splinter and the turtles were costumed stunt men. The film also capitalized on what these once young now old man children want from this retro reboot: large animals, Kung Fu, Megan Fox, and explosions. While the gags and gimmicks are very much the same, the aging population, most of whom have children of their own, rediscovered their fondness for these lovable overgrown ninja reptiles and very much appreciated the opportunity to see them again.
Given their outstanding success, it’s no wonder why Paramount has already ok’d the sequel to be released June 3rd 2016, as Marvel did with the Guardians following their epic debut. What this also implies is a stronger likelihood for other retro super powered teams like the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers to become films in the near future, maybe even a Gargoyles or Biker Mice From Mars (probably a long shot). While I was very much disappointed that the Guardians weren’t able to score a second weekend win, a positive note is that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ invigorating opening was much like a prescribed Viagra to this year’s flaccid movie season.