Lionsgate had a lot invested in ‘Saban’s Power Rangers’, a modern take on the campy classic kids’ show. Their major franchises, ‘Twilight’ and ‘The Hunger Games’ have wrapped and ‘Divergent’… *sigh* the less said about that, the better. Sure there was the runaway award-winning bonanza ‘La La Land’ but the studio was eyeing ‘Power Rangers’ to be its major tentpole attraction for years to come, but that doesn’t seem likely now. Like the 1993 ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ theatrical film, this iteration of ‘Power Rangers’ may be one and done.
For some reason, Lionsgate didn’t release the film in the lucrative China market until this past weekend. Usually 60% of a major film’s profits come from the international market, while 40% come from domestic grosses. In the U.S., ‘Power Rangers’ ended up being completely front-loaded, opening to a better-than-predicted $40 million in March. But after the die-hard fans turned out for opening weekend, the film quickly plummeted out of the Top Five. It’s still playing in some theaters, but it should wind up with about $85M domestic.
Things are looking much bleaker overseas. In China, the second-biggest movie market in the world, ‘Power Rangers’ was decimated this past weekend by ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2’ and even the Indian action epic ‘Dängal’. ‘Power Rangers’ managed a paltry $1.2M on its opening day. At best, the film will manage $145M theatrically around the globe.
It could, POSSIBLY, find a larger audience on digital and home video, but that’s a rare occurrence. Critics generally felt the film was better than expected, but still too much setup, not enough action.
‘Power Rangers’ got a lot of press with the inclusion of a possible gay or bisexual member (Trini, played by Becky G.) and an autistic hero (Billy, played by R.J. Cyler), which earned kudos from many. And the mid-credit sequence teased the introduction of Tommy the Green Ranger, the most popular character from the entire TV franchise, something fans were dying to see.
Lionsgate COULD still make at least one sequel, but at this point, it’s up in the air. They haven’t made an official announcement one way or the other, but with the first film performing to only lackluster numbers and seemingly only appealing to die-hards, the financial investment may not justify it.
The first movie was, logically mostly setup with the main characters coming together and learning to work together as a team. But once they fully became the Power Rangers and went into action, things really picked up. A sequel would benefit from the team being fully-formed and jumping right into the action.
The film may get a boost when it is made available for digital download on June 13, followed by its DVD/Blu-Ray release on June 27.
Did you enjoy ‘Power Rangers’? Do you want to see more?