The status of the Power Rangers movie franchise has been up in the air ever since the final box office figures came in. Lionsgate and Saban's big screen reboot, directed by Dean Israelite, enjoyed a big opening weekend, domestically, but ticket sales quickly tailed off and the movie ended up $85 million on home shores. In China, where a strong performance had been widely predicted, it didn't manage to perform well at all, taking around $4.2 million and putting Power Rangers on a worldwide total of $140 million.
Figures like that mean that any chance of a sequel, much less a multi-movie franchise as originally conceived, is unlikely. Thanks to toy sales, though, relating to both Power Rangers movie and Power Rangers: Ninja Steel TV show, we could well see a sequel sometime in the future. Right now, with the home release of Power Rangers imminent, talk is naturally turning to whether this really is the end for the franchise that's barely begun, and speaking to Screen Rant, Israelite echoed a lot of people's sentiments when asked if a second movie could happen:
"I hope so. It’s obviously not up to me, but I know the studio (Lionsgate) and Saban are talking in earnest about it, and are trying to push forward. They’re having a discussion."
As ever, money talks in these cases, but it's still a very good sign that Lionsgate and Saban are discussing a sequel; at the very least it means the idea is not totally dead in the water just yet. Power Rangers served as the perfect origin story for these new, young, and inexperienced Rangers. All coming from different backgrounds, the five assembled not as friends at first, but as individuals with nothing more in common than the possession of a colored crystal. They ended up as a close-knit team of superheroes who worked together to defeat Rita Repulsa and restore peace to Angel Grove.
Not only is there vast potential for their story to continue, there was also the imminent arrival of Tommy Oliver set up during a mid-credits scene. Certainly for Power Rangers fans, the arrival of one of the best-loved rangers of all time is something they'd all like to see. The young cast all gave strong performances in their roles, and Power Rangers was also groundbreaking in its depiction of everyday, relatable characters as superheroes. Trini, the Yellow Ranger, identifies on the LGBT spectrum, while Billy, the Blue Ranger, lives with Autism. While it had its faults, Power Rangers was hugely enjoyable and a fresh take on the franchise. Going forward, if Power Rangers does get a second installment, Lionsgate could do well to ensure it avoids a PG-13 rating, as that is potentially something that harmed its success, as many deemed the rating to mean it was unsuitable for young children.
Power Rangers is out on 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD from June 27th.
- Power Rangers (2017) release date: Mar 24, 2017