Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Paramount Moves Up 'TMNT: Mutant Mayhem' Release Date to Aug. 2; Unveils New Posters; To Drop New Trailer on May 31

Paramount Pictures has bumped up its nationwide release date for the CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem from Friday, August 4 to Wednesday, August 2, 2023. Additionally, to celebrate World Turtle Day, the studio has unveiled two new posters for the movie, below, and has revealed that it'll drop the film's second trailer on May 31!

The film's only competitor set for its new date is an opera, that being Fathom Event’s Met Summer Encore: Il Trovatore. Its theatrical release follows those of such major studio titles as Warner Bros Barbie and Uni’s Oppenheimer, which share the date of July 21st, along with Disney’s Haunted Mansion (July 28). Coming two days after its opening is that of Warner Bros’ shark pic The Meg 2: The Trench (August 4).

Moreover, TMNT: Mutant Mayhem's new release date means that it still won’t get any Imax or PLF screens even for those first two days since those auditoriums will be going to Chris Nolan’s Oppenheimer or Greta Gerwig’s Barbie or Disney’s The Haunted Mansion.

However, it’s the latest big theatrical release to opt for an extended Wed-Sun weekend instead of a conventional Fri-Sun debut. Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie decided to open two days early and ended up with a $146 million Fri-Sun frame and a $204 million Wed-Sun debut. Universal knew the Illumination toon would garner strong consumer word-of-mouth and would take advantage of kids already out for spring break.

Paramount choosing to open Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part I not on July 14 but instead on July 12 is slightly more complicated. Presuming the latest Christopher McQuarrie-directed Ethan Hunt actioner is as crowd-pleasing as Rogue Nation in 2015 and Fallout in 2018, Paramount surely wants to build buzz and consumer word-of-mouth heading into the traditional Fri-Sun weekend. Moreover, going two days early gives the Tom Cruise flick two extra days of Imax, Dolby and related PLF screens before losing them the next week to Oppenheimer and (in perhaps some non-Imax cases) Barbie.

To the extent that there is any three-dimensional chess involved, moving the buzzy and kid-targeted Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated flick up gives a little less time for Disney’s second attempt at a live-action Haunted Mansion to be the de-facto event film for kids. In the pre-COVID days, plenty of films, especially non-tentpole films, would opt for a Wednesday debut so as to build up word-of-mouth before heading into the standard Fri-Sun launch.

Or, as with Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace, opening on a Wednesday can spread the wealth so the die-hards don’t crowd out the general audiences. Opening The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard or Godzilla Vs. Kong on a Wednesday in the first half of 2021 was also an implicit way of assuring folks they could see the film on its opening jaunt without being in a jam-packed theater full of people.

As for this overall shift to Wednesday openings, it may portend to a trend we saw in the years before COVID, where word of mouth and buzz took slightly more precedence over frontloaded opening weekends. In pre-COVID times that was in the form of nationwide sneak previews for kid-friendly tentpole films like Bumblebee, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and The LEGO Movie 2.

Paramount tried likewise earlier this year with nationwide sneak previews of the Chris Pine/Michelle Rodriguez action comedy Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, and it cannot be argued that word-of-mouth didn’t click.

In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, after years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtle brothers set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers through heroic acts. Their new friend April O'Neil helps them take on a mysterious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem cast includes:

  • Micah Abbey as Donatello
  • Shamon Brown Jr. as Michelangelo
  • Hannibal Buress as Genghis Frog
  • Rose Byrne as Leatherhead
  • Nicolas Cantu as Leonardo
  • John Cena as Rocksteady
  • Jackie Chan as Splinter
  • Ice Cube as Superfly
  • Natasia Demetriou as Wingnut
  • Ayo Edebiri as April O'Neil
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Baxter Stockman
  • Post Malone as Ray Fillet
  • Brady Noon as Raphael
  • Seth Rogen as Bebop
  • Paul Rudd as Mondo Gecko
  • Maya Rudolph as Cynthia Utrom

Nickelodeon Movies and award-winning Point Grey Productions' Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver are producing the all-new iteration. The film marks Nickelodeon Animation's first-ever CG-animated theatrical production, in partnership with Naito and Jason McConnell, who are overseeing production for Nickelodeon. For Point Grey, Lukas Williams is co-producing and Josh Fagen is overseeing. Paramount Pictures will handle worldwide distribution of the film.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is directed by Jeff Rowe (The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Gravity Falls, Disenchantment).

Considered one of the most popular kids' franchises, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a classic, global property created in 1984 by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.  It first debuted as a successful comic book series and then became a hit animated TV show, a live-action television series and later spawned numerous blockbuster theatrical releases. The property is a global consumer products powerhouse, winning in every category that has hit shelves to date—with toys, apparel, video games, DVDs and more—and generating billions of dollars at retail. 

Nickelodeon brought the franchise to life again in 2012 with the CG-animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and then reimagined the Heroes in a Half-Shell with the 2D-animated series Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 2018.

Stream Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Paramount+! Try it FREE at!

Originally published: May 23, 2023 at 19:55 BST.

Original sources: DeadlineTheWrap; Additional sources: @TMNTNextChapter@ZizzyRie, JoBlo

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