Last week, it was revealed that the release date for Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie would be pushed back by two months. While it was originally slated to release early in the summer of 2014, the film has been pushed back to an August 8th release. What does that mean? Well, there could be any number of different reasons for a studio to push back the release date of a film. After all, sometimes success lies in knowing exactly when to release the product.
As an example, take a look at Rainmaker’s film Escape From Planet Earth, which had been pushed back for quite a while until it was finally released on February 15th, 2013. Even the studios weren’t really expecting big numbers, but they played the lottery that is release dates and decided to go with a time when there wasn’t really any other family fare in theaters. In the end, their best guess paid off handsomely, as the $40 million dollar film earned over $70 million worldwide. Sometimes these things are literally a toss up.
Releasing the new TMNT movie in June would put it up against heavy competition, so it makes sense to push the release back a couple months. Of course, there will also be competition in August, but at least it won’t be the same caliber. Ironically, one of the reasons for this move is probably the fact that Michael Bay’s Transformers 4 is slated for a June 27th release. Two big movies in one month? That’s a bit much to ask of an audience that is already strapped for cash. It’s usually a better idea to let two big titles breathe.
Unfortunately, pushing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back to August puts it right behind Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, which is likely to have a similar fan base clamoring to see it. You never can tell why these moves are made or what they really say about a title. The most common response is that the studios don’t have faith in the title, so they’re pushing it back to give it more breathing room to increase its chances for success. While this is a valid possibility, it’s also highly unlikely considering everything that goes into the lottery results of box office success.
It’s just as likely that Paramount wanted to push the film back to August to coincide with the time of year that kids are going back to school, with plans to sell a lot of tie in merchandise in the form of Backpacks, Lunch boxes, Notebooks and more. In the end, we’re all playing just as much of a guessing game as the studios are, but while they’re trying to make as much money as possible, we’re just trying to figure out what their moves really mean.