The wait is almost over for fellow Rangers. In just over 24 hours from the time of this writing, Power Rangers will start to be made available to watch in theaters and try and bring the property back to prominence. In order to differentiate this version from what has come before, a more grounded and modernized approach has been taken with this Rangers film, one that Saban/Lionsgate hope is the first of many. In order to fulfill these lofty plans, this first installment must be a hit at the box office to warrant a sequel.
Lionsgate has gone with a relatively unknown cast for the five Rangers with Dacre Montgomery (Red Ranger), RJ Cyler (Blue Ranger), Naomi Scott (Pink Ranger), Becky G (Yellow Ranger), and Ludi Lin (Black Ranger) portraying the young heroes. However, the studio rounded out the cast with Bryan Cranston as Zordon, Elizabeth Banks as the villainous Rita Repulsa, and brought in Bill Hader to do the voice of Alpha-5.
It could be because of the lack of household names that Power Rangers is currently tracking for a smaller opening than perhaps desired. Deadline is reporting that the movie is set to finish in second place this weekend – behind Beauty and the Beast – and take in anywhere between $30-$40 million in its opening three days.
This number would not be the greatest start for the potential franchise, but audience reactions and word of mouth – like always – could help push the movie beyond these projections. The film also has an advantage over such recent tentpoles as Kong: Skull Island, in the sense that the Power Rangers production budget was (reportedly) $105 million – a relatively slim number by tentpole standards. (Skull Island, by comparison, cost $185 million.)
Early Power Rangers reviews area mixed, but press screenings are still happening and the audience consensus could prove to be more positive over the next few days and help bring in more filmgoers. Studio heads are clearly hoping that the nostalgia attached to the franchise can bring back some former viewers, while also introducing a new generation of fans to the Power Rangers property. Even if the movie underperforms at the box office, there is still potential for the multitude of toys to help push the film into being a proper success.
It should be noted that $30-$40 million is a respectable opening for Power Rangers, but just goes to show how crammed the movie schedule is already. Beauty and the Beast is expected to have major carry over in its second weekend, while this weekend’s wide release Life is generating positive reviews as well. The fact of the matter is Power Rangers needs a strong opening weekend domestically and internationally, what with other big films – Ghost in the Shell, The Fate of the Furious, etc. – just a few weeks away.