Before the Power Rangers reboot hit theatres a few months ago, Lionsgate talked a big game about having long-term plans for the movie franchise. Those plans might have to be shelved now, though, thanks to a disastrous box office performance in China this past weekend.
Image: Lionsgate/Kimberly French
While the movie’s performance in the West didn’t exactly set the world on fire, Power Rangers was at least on track for a potential sequel if it performed well when it opened in China this past weekend… which it very much didn’t. Power Rangers scraped in a measly $US1.4 million ($1.9 million) in its opening day in the country, culminating in an opening weekend of just $US3.3 million ($4.4 million).
Bye Bye, POWER RANGERS. Lionsgate's reboot debuted with just $3.3M in China this weekend. Sequel hopes…going, going…gone.
— Exhibitor Relations (@ERCboxoffice) May 16, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, in contrast, took in $US49.4 million ($66.4 million) in its recent opening weekend in China. Ouch. That’s a drubbing worth sending the Rangers gymnastically twirling away from a giant pyrotechnical effect.
Although Power Rangers still has its opening in Japan — the ancestral home of the series’ source material, Super Sentai — to come, it’s unlikely to have an effect that could see a Power Rangers 2 get greenlit, let alone six sequels based on the reboot.
It’s honestly kind of a shame. Dean Israelite’s reboot had some flaws, but it laid a great groundwork for potential sequels to build on and deliver a lot of the fun the first movie had in its final act. Now it seems unlikely that at least this incarnation of the Rangers will get that chance. I hope we don’t have to wait a Rita-esque 10,000 years to see the franchise take another crack at the big screen.