On the strength of the $65M-plus domestic opening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Paramount announced this AM that a sequel is underway with Michael Bay steering the production once again. The project from Nickelodeon Movies will bow on June 3, 2016. Bay will produce alongside his Platinum Dunes partners Andrew Form and Brad Fuller, with Galen Walker and Scott Mednick. Screenwriters Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec (Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol) are again coming aboard to write the sequel and will also receive an exec producing credit. It’s not clear if Jonathan Liebsman will again direct. Kudos to Paramount’s marketing team led by Josh Greenstein — talk about negotiating from a place of strength.

The date for the sequel will come the same weekend as Sony is scheduled to bow the Jonah Hill/Seth Rogen comedy Sausage Party (Ugh, that title … must we?) and a week after Disney’s Alice in Wonderland and Fox’s next X-Men installment, Apocalypse.

The surprise box office hit bowed in 17 markets internationally this weekend to take in an estimated $28.7M (final figures will be out tomorrow). So its worldwide total is around $97.3M, depending on today’s grosses. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been playing well both during the family moviegoing matinees and the older 25-to-35 demo that pushes into evening and late-night showings. All told, this means Paramount and Bay have launched another franchise this summer after kicking it earlier with a gonzo $95.7M opening for Transformers: Age of Extinction. It’s been a Michael Bay summer for the studio. Some have called the latest Turtles revamp Transformers with Turtles.

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As a big TMNT fan growing up and I'm not 28, this movie was amazing. I wasn't...
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Took my kids and the neighbors kids to see this, thinking I wouldn't like it and they...

michael-bay-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-e1390425286213“Launching a new take on the Turtles into the feature film world was a daunting task because as fans of them ourselves, we felt a great responsibility to ensure audiences were going to experience everything they loved about the Turtles, while also getting to see them brought to life in a way they had never been seen before,” said Adam Goodman, President of Paramount’s Film Group in a statement this AM. “The result exceeded our high expectations and the response to the film is beyond great, making it all the more fun to get started on the continuation of their story.”