TMNT & Mission Impossible Could Finally Change An 83-Year Hollywood Tradition

Summary

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One are major releases that could change Hollywood’s long-standing tradition of Friday movie releases.
  • Both films were released on Wednesdays, which is uncommon for blockbusters, but there were specific reasons for these release dates.
  • While changing the release window could have benefits, such as allowing movies to be more spaced out and giving audiences more options throughout the week, it may also cause confusion and disruption to the established routine.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One are two of the biggest movies of the summer of 2023, and these blockbusters may end up finally changing an 83-year Hollywood tradition. Both of these films were some of Paramount’s biggest releases of 2023, with the movies being highly anticipated and part of massive franchises. While the release of these blockbusters is big enough news on their own, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One may have a lasting impact on the film industry that changes one of Hollywood’s oldest traditions.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is the newest entry in the beloved TMNT franchise, with it bringing the heroes in a half-shell to the big screen for the first time since Michael Bay’s live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies. TMNT: Mutant Mayhem is expected to be one of the biggest animated movies of the year, with a TMNT: Mutant Mayhem sequel and TV series already being announced. This film comes only a few weeks after Paramount’s other big summer release, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, which has been a critical darling despite its lackluster box office performance.

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Why Paramount Released Both TMNT: Mutant Mayhem & Mission: Impossible 7 On Wednesdays

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One share one odd thing in common: they were both released on Wednesdays. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One was released on July 12, 2023, while Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem was released on August 2, 2023. This is a strange choice, as major movies typically release on Fridays. While movies occasionally release on days other than Friday, Paramount doing this for two of their biggest blockbuster movies of the summer of 2023 is incredibly uncommon, but there is a reason for both of these strange release dates.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is an interesting case, as the film was originally set to release on Friday, July 14. However, due to the film being a spectacle movie, the Tom Cruise project was moved up two days. This was so that Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One could have a longer run in IMAX before Oppenheimer took over on July 21. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem was moved up for a different reason. The film is mostly targeted at kids, and since many schools start back in the first week of August, Paramount moved the film up to give families an easier time seeing the film.

Why Hollywood Movies Traditionally Release On Fridays

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh embrace in Gone with the Wind

Releasing movies on Fridays has been a staple of Hollywood for decades now, but many viewers never ask why. Strangely enough, the history of Friday releases can be traced back to Gone with the Wind. The film premiered on December 15, 1939, and it quickly went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time. Many studios believed that the Friday release date played a big role in Gone With the Wind‘s massive success, causing them to mimic this release strategy. This worked for many movies, leading to Friday releases becoming a staple of Hollywood for the next 83 years.

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Although the history of Friday releases started with Gone with the Wind, there are some practical reasons for releasing movies on Friday. For many, Friday is the start of the weekend, meaning that people are more likely to go see movies that night due to not having work the next day. Even if they don’t see it on Friday, audiences still have Saturday and Sunday to see the film before the next week starts. Movies released on Fridays often have higher returns than those released earlier or later in the week. Plus, Thursday night previews allow a little extra box office revenue to be squeezed out before the official release.

Hollywood Changing Its Release Plans Could Be Great (But Also Worse)

Leonardo, Michelangelo, Rafael, and Donatello make goofy expressions while eating pizza and on their phone in Mutant Mayhem.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant Mayhem changing Hollywood’s common release window could actually be a good thing for several big reasons. Firstly, it could allow movies to be more spaced out. Since most movies release on Fridays, films are often competing against each other on their opening days. Spacing the films out could allow each one to get the spotlight for a bit. On top of that, eager audience members won’t have to wait until the weekend for movies to come out, meaning that they can see new releases throughout the week.

While there are some positives, changing this 83-year Hollywood tradition could also make things worse. As of now, everyone knows movies release on Fridays with Thursday night previews, meaning audiences don’t have to pay too much attention to release dates. Releasing movies earlier in the week could cause confusion, with many viewers not knowing Mission: Impossible or TMNT: Mutant Mayhem came out so early. On top of that, releasing movies earlier in the week means that previews have to come a night earlier, and Monday night previews are unlikely to be as successful due to it being the beginning of the week.

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TMNT & Mission: Impossible 7’s Box Office Might Not Be Enough To Change Hollywood

Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

While Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One‘s release dates are definitely unorthodox, they may not be enough to change Hollywood. Although both movies have been critical successes, their commercial success seems uncertain. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One‘s box office has underperformed, with it struggling to stay out of the shadow of Barbie and Oppenheimer. Although Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is just now releasing, it isn’t likely to be a massive hit, even though it could turn a profit.

Having both movies that tested out Paramount’s Wednesday release strategy not be huge hits is a bad sign for their ability to sway Hollywood’s release date tradition. In order for the entire film industry to shift, either Mission: Impossible or TMNT would have had to be a huge hit, which they sadly haven’t shaped up to be. Although it’s possible that these movies could cause more studios to experiment with different release dates, they aren’t changing everything. As of now, it seems that Hollywood’s 83-year tradition is still cemented despite Paramount’s efforts with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.

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