Lionsgate had a lot riding on ‘Saban’s Power Rangers’, which it hoped to kick off a multi-film franchise and so far, things are looking good. Dean Israelite’s updating of the original version of the decades-spanning TV series seems to be crossing over to a wide audience, both adults who grew up with the show and kids… who also grew up with it.
‘Power Rangers’ appears to have taken in $3.6 million on Thursday night with preview showings, on par with ‘Pacific Rim’ and slightly behind ‘Mad Max Fury Road’, which made $3.7M from Thursday previews. It’s also close to the $4.6M earned by ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’, which went on to make $25M on opening day and $65M from opening weekend.
‘Power Rangers” budget is roughly $100M and it is currently being eyed to make about $40M on opening weekend and should easily turn a profit as it is expected to also do well overseas, since ‘Power Rangers’ has been an international hit for the duration of its existence. (The original show was, after all, recycled from the Japanese show ‘Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger’.)
Back to the ‘TMNT’ comparison however, things may not pan out exactly as Lionsgate had hoped. Paramount’s ‘TMNT’ was also expected to kick off a big franchise and it did earn a sequel, ‘TMNT: Out of the Shadows’, by all accounts a much better film, which tanked. ‘Power Rangers’ is not looking to do as well as the first ‘TMNT’ and by most accounts, both professional critics and viewers that have seen it, seem to think ‘Power Rangers’ is just okay or “better than you might think.”
At this point, it doesn’t look like ‘Power Rangers’ is going to take the #1 spot at the box office away from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ but should it hold up decently over the next few weeks, fans should expect to see at least one sequel– something teased by the movie’s mid-credits sequence.
Check back on Monday to see how the entire box office shapes up.