Power Rangers is coming back to the big screen under the watch of Saban and Lionsgate/Summit, the latter of which has carved out a niche for itself in recent years when it comes to similar young adult entertainment – having released such YA science-fiction book adaptations as The Hunger Games and The Divergent Series. The (for now) final installment in the Hunger Games franchise, Mockingjay – Part 2, hit theaters in November 2015, but the studio still has a pair of Divergent films in the pipeline (both based on Veronica Roth’s novel “Allegiant”) due to arrive in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Both Power Rangers and the final Divergent movie, The Divergent Series: Ascendent, have now had their release dates shifted back from their previously-set 2017 launch times. As such, the films will not be arriving in January and March of that year, as was previously slated.
Power Rangers is now set to arrive on March 24th, 2017, taking Ascendent‘s old date. The new Power Rangers film was originally set to hit theaters in Sommer 2016 before Lionsgate shifted the movie to its now-former January date, based on the logic that this move would benefit the sci-fi action movie at the box office. However, in many ways Power Rangers is better poised to perform well commercially after its second date change, seeing how March has become a lucrative frame for studio fare in recent years Case in point, Lionsgate’s first Hunger Games broke box office records during that month in 2012, and Warner Bros./DC will unleash its tentpole Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice one year before Power Rangers hits the scene.
Universal currently has its reboot of The Mummy franchise scheduled to arrive the same day as Power Rangers, but the latter could well prove to be the bigger winner at the box office of the pair (assuming The Mummy isn’t moved to a new date in the future). For one, there’s arguably more built-in nostalgia for Power Rangers, seeing as the project – which director Dean Israelite (Project Almanac) shall begin filming in early 2016 based on a script by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class, Thor) – is gong to be at least a partial reboot of the franchise; one that features new versions of the well-known main characters from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series, no less. Plus, the property has a younger generation of fans too, after having aired a new TV show iteration continuously every year for more than two decades now.
Divergent Series: Ascendent, meanwhile, has shifted back to a June 9th, 2017 theatrical release date, meaning the film is going to have to compete during that year’s Summer Movie Season derby. The final chapter in Tris Prior’s (Shailene Woodley) post-apocalyptic tale is now set to open the same weekend as Paramount’s Brad Pitt-headlined World War Z sequel, in addition to arriving two weeks after Disney and Lucasfilm unleash Star Wars: Episode VIII in theaters.
The second Divergent Series film, Insurgent, has grossed less in the U.S. than its predecessor, though its global theatrical take was slightly higher; which is to say, while the property’s fanbase hasn’t grown too much since the first installment was released, it hasn’t necessarily shrunk either. Seeing as the last two Divergent movies are being scripted and directed by the same team – the lineup that also includes Insurgent helmsman Robert Schwentke – and features the same core cast (Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, and so forth), it should deliver a viewing experience on par with previous installment and in turn, most of the people who turn out to see Allegiant should show up to finish the series with Ascendent.
On the other hand, the decision to split Mockingjay into two movies has resulted in Part 2 taking in noticeably less at the box office than Part 1 (though to be clear, both have still been massive hits). As such, it’s not inconceivable that Divergent‘s last two chapters will chart a similar course, especially with Ascendent now hitting the scene in the busier weeks of June.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant opens in U.S. theaters on March 18th, 2016, followed by Power Rangers on March 24th, 2017 and The Divergent Series: Ascendent on June 9th, 2017.
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