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Old 03-26-2021, 06:27 PM   #1
neatoman
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How much would an Utrom muppet have cost to make?

Right, so allegedly the scientist in Secret of the Ooze was going to turn out to be an utrom, but the scene wasn't filmed because it was deemed to expensive. Now far be it from me to question the decisions made by the allmighty Hollywood producers, but exactly how expensive would it have been to make small muppet that would fit inside a scarecrow stomach? I mean they did have the money to make a Super Shredder costume for about a minute of screentime and a cameo by Vanilla Ice...
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Old 03-26-2021, 07:44 PM   #2
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I've never for a minute believed that it was about being "too expensive". That's obvious smoke.

The FIRST story I ever heard about it, was that it was scrapped because it would confuse the little kids who would all immediately assume that it was Krang, because of course they would. About 15 people who'd have watched that movie in theaters would have read a single Mirage comic by that point; everyone else would have just gone "WHOA, Krang! Wait... what?" Nobody knew what the f*ck an "Utrom" was until the 4Kids cartoon made them mainstream (in a sense; it's not like anyone really watched that show, either).

Come to think of it... I think this is the first time I've ever heard anyone say it was because of expense. I've ONLY ever, to my recollection, heard about it being scrapped because everyone would think it was Krang. It's pretty obvious to me that's the only real reason.

I mean, for what they needed it for - one shot, a quick reveal with only a little bit of movement... a thousand bucks, maybe? I doubt they'd have needed any elaborate electronics or anything; some googly eyes and some fishing line to move the tentacles would have worked just as well for the few seconds it would have been on-screen. Could have even used a hand puppet.

"Too expensive". Bullsh*t. It's because kids would have thought it was Krang. Anything else is 100% lies and bullsh*t.
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:04 PM   #3
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I'm not really sure I buy the "mistaken for Krang" explaination either. Would kids have thought it was Krang? Yes of course they would, but why would the filmmakers care? Clearly it wasn't a problem for them to:
  1. Have the Foot be all human.
  2. Give April the store.
  3. Replace Burne with Charles.
  4. Replace Channel 6 with Channel 3.
  5. Have Splinter start out as a rat.
  6. Replace Bebop and Rocksteady with Tokka and Rahzar.
I even know people assumed Tokka and Rahzar were indeed Bebop and Rocksteady, despite that obviously not being the case. I don't see why a scene where the scientist buttons up his shirt and goes "Oh by the way, I am a space alien called Utrom, my real name is Tihsllub and the Ooze is fuel for my rocketship home, sorry it turned you into freaks...". Yeah, kids would think it's Krang and ignore what he said but I don't understand why anyone making the movie would care.
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo656 View Post
About 15 people who'd have watched that movie in theaters would have read a single Mirage comic by that point; everyone else would have just gone "WHOA, Krang! Wait... what?" Nobody knew what the f*ck an "Utrom" was until the 4Kids cartoon made them mainstream (in a sense; it's not like anyone really watched that show, either).
And the handful of people who WOULD know who the Utroms were by that point -- from Mirage -- would just be pissed. Because TMNT II is pretty freaking far from Mirage in every conceivable way.

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Come to think of it... I think this is the first time I've ever heard anyone say it was because of expense. I've ONLY ever, to my recollection, heard about it being scrapped because everyone would think it was Krang. It's pretty obvious to me that's the only real reason.
Yeah, I've never heard expense in relation to that. But it sounds like Kevin and Peter didn't really fight for... well, much of anything in II.
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:12 PM   #5
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Well, what would have turned expensive is a sequel that moves forward from that ending scene. Because if you put an utrom at the end of tmnt2 than you have to spend a lot of money in tmnt3: turtles in space, unless you have something totally different and a less expensive way of using utroms in mind.
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:21 PM   #6
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The kinds of scripts they were getting and audience they were going for back then... they might have had better luck with a TMNT III that tried to roll the dice on a slapstick adventure to outer space instead of a slapstick adventure to Feudal Japan.
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Old 03-26-2021, 09:09 PM   #7
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Yeah, that may have been another factor. Once you pop the lid on "outer space aliens" in your movie, your next movie kind of HAS to follow that plotline, and they probably figured that hypothetical sequel probably would have been too expensive of an idea to pursue, sure. It's not like they could just reveal Prof. Perry as an Utrom at the end of II, and then not mention it at all in III. That would make them look pretty stupid.

As I understand it, II didn't make as much money as they expected it to - which makes sense, even as a "dumb fun kids' movie" it simply doesn't have the re-watch factor of the first one; I can see a LOT of parents telling their kids "Nah, you already saw Turtles II, lets go see something else" just so they wouldn't have to sit through it again themselves - and that's why TMNT III was so scaled-down. They may have had a moment of foresight and figured it just wasn't worth setting up something they might not get to actually pay off. If so, that's pretty smart on their end.
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Old 03-26-2021, 09:48 PM   #8
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Didn't TMNT III actually have a higher budget than II? They had to film on bigger sets with Japanese houses, Japanese samurai armor, on big open fields that resembled Japan and had like 500+ extras to fill out all the soldiers.

Sure the costumes for the Turtles/Splinter were noticeably weaker quality than the first two movies, but I can't imagine all those Japanese sets, wardrobes for the actors, etc. was all cheap.
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Old 03-26-2021, 10:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
Didn't TMNT III actually have a higher budget than II?
It was like 5 million less than II's budget. And whatever they had to spend extra on locales and extras and all of that with III, they cut absolutely everything else down to sh**.
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Old 03-26-2021, 10:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
Didn't TMNT III actually have a higher budget than II? They had to film on bigger sets with Japanese houses, Japanese samurai armor, on big open fields that resembled Japan and had like 500+ extras to fill out all the soldiers.

Sure the costumes for the Turtles/Splinter were noticeably weaker quality than the first two movies, but I can't imagine all those Japanese sets, wardrobes for the actors, etc. was all cheap.
Nope. The budget for SotO was apparently $25 million, TMNT III had $21 million. I was gonna say, TMNT III sure didn't LOOK like it cost more money!

Just for fun, and since I have it in front of me, let's look at Budget vs. Box Office for all three films:

TMNT 1990: Budget of 13.5 million, box office $202 million

TMNT II: Budget of $25 million, box office $78.6 million (U.S. and Canada only; apparently the film did so poorly in overseas theaters that the box office wasn't even worth tracking). If you count worldwide video rentals, it goes up to $132 million, but that feels like cheating. So let's split the difference and call the theatrical box office a generous $85 million. It may very well have been less, but again, let's be generous.

TMNT III: Budget of $21 million, box office a dismal $54.4 million.

I honestly have no idea why everyone refuses to try and mimic the formula of the one and only TMNT movie that was actually a big box office success when measured against its budget. TMNT II definitely made money once rentals and VHS sales were factored in, but not a ton, and the marketing budget had to have been HUGE because that movie got a ton of advertising. After marketing, TMNT III probably broke even or lost money; again, let's be generous and say they broke even, because I don't remember there being a ton of advertising for TMNT III the way there was for II.

But even if you factor in marketing expenses, TMNT 1 made a LOT of money simply because they didn't break the bank making it (it didn't hurt either that it didn't treat the audience like f*cking morons like the second one did; that probably earned them a lot of repeat business).

The old saying is, "You have to spend money to make money," but as we've seen above that simply isn't always true. They spent more on the sequel - twice as much as the first - but made less than half as much back. The third spent "about" as much as II, but they lost money in the end.

It's almost as if they were only so successful the first time out, because they didn't treat the material they were putting on screen as "Stupid Sh*t For Stupid People and Their Stupid Kids". Funny how that works, huh?
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Old 03-26-2021, 10:50 PM   #11
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I mean the TMNT fad was dying by 1993 anyway. Even if the movies had been all as good as the first, sales would have declined.

1993 was basically the "beginning of the end" of the TMNT fad. It felt like they were in their dying year already. Surprised the original cartoon still got renewed through 1996 as well as Archie because they could have ended sooner.
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Old 03-26-2021, 11:15 PM   #12
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Only way I figure that could be too expensive if is they wanted to delve into some 90s era digital effects/cgi work to pull it off. As an indi film, I could understand deciding to skip that if that's the angle they wanted to use. But a puppet? Nah. Surely that would have been a fraction of the cost of all those Turtle suit parts they made and tore through while filming.
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Old 03-26-2021, 11:27 PM   #13
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Yeah, couldn't possibly have been "too expensive" just for that prop in that movie. No way.

Now, if they sat down once the coke wore off and realized, "If we do this reveal, we're now completely stuck sending the next sequel into full-blown sci-fi territory with aliens and spaceships and sh*t," crunched the numbers and realized there was no way in hell they could pull that off for roughly $25 million in any way that wasn't a complete joke... THAT kind of "Too expensive" makes sense. The "If we do this, we're gonna need almost twice our current budget for the next sequel, because we're raising the stakes" kind of Too Expensive.

And they definitely would've been stuck in that lane, if they'd gone with the Utrom reveal. You can't just end your movie with a big huge reveal and then completely ignore it in the next movie. Not unless you're an X-Men movie and your continuity is so broken that nobody cares what you do.
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Old 03-27-2021, 02:56 PM   #14
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TMNT III being a flop i can understand but II flopped overseas , thats news to me ?

70s kung fus barely had a budget but still earned good at box office

They spent a lot on MK2 but it still blew chunks :/
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Old 03-27-2021, 08:29 PM   #15
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That's what they say! Who knows why. But TMNT II, allegedly, only drew any kind of measurable crowd in the US and Canada. I mean, I'm sure people saw it, but the "Global" box office only includes numbers from those two countries, which implies that in much of the world they simply didn't sell many tickets or they would have been counted and included in that total.

I wouldn't have guessed, but that's apparently what happened.
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Old 03-28-2021, 12:36 PM   #16
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The SOTO/Prof Perry/Utrom thing is just rumor. No validity at all. The creative team, including Eastman and Laird, determined that TGRI was of "alien origin" in the story meetings, but that was it.

A basic one-shot Utrom would have been totally doable from the Henson team, but it was never part of the production.
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Old 05-20-2021, 03:39 PM   #17
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TMNT III being a flop i can understand but II flopped overseas , thats news to me ?
In Sweden, the 1990 movie flopped because it was rated 15 in cinemas. But Secret of the Ooze was a big hit since it was rated 11.

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