Paramount Pictures focused more on quality rather than quantity for the summer blockbuster season. But it might have settled more for just lower quantity.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” struggled at the North American box office over the weekend, barely beating out “X-Men: Apocalypse” on its second week, and delivering some serious bad news to the executive offices of Viacom chair Philippe Dauman. The sequel from producer Michael Bay earned just $35.3 million domestically on its opening weekend, and $69.3 million worldwide. It slipped past “Apocalypse,” which earned $22.8 million to bring its two-week total to $117 million.
The weekend total for TMNT fell below studio and market estimates, and helped Paramount whimper into the summer movie season that still awaits its remake of “Ben-Hur” as well as the more-anticipated “Star Trek: Beyond” on July 22.
“A lot of people feel that this movie and the next Star Trek are absolutely essential for the studio, and even for the management,” analyst Matthew Harrigan told Bloomberg. It’s especially important for Dauman who is under a lot of internal pressure in the months since becoming the official chairman of Paramount’s parent, Viacom, since he seems to now be in a legal war with its 93-year-old biggest shareholder, Sumner Redstone.