Is a Power Rangers sequel likely given the current box office numbers? Even though the movie has opened relatively well, with Box Office Mojo predicting a worldwide weekend take of $59.2 million, is this going to be enough for the studio to green-light a follow-up film based on these characters?
The Power Rangers series of the 1990s was a short lived craze, but it meant a lot to the young people of that decade who watched it. Yes, the costumes were lame, the dialogue was cheesy and the effects were pitiful, but it had a certain charm all its own.
On the surface, it might seem obvious that the studio would do a sequel if The Power Rangers movie pulled in almost 60 million in its first weekend. The production budget for this movie was roughly $100 million, and it appears likely the movie will take in this much in the first week worldwide. But as pointed out by Collider, Hollywood earnings numbers can be deceptive.
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The $100 million mentioned above doesn’t take into account marketing costs, which with a movie like this are considerable. Marketing could easily be another $20-$30 million. There’s also the fact that the studio doesn’t get all of the box office take. Obviously, the theaters take some percentage of the ticket price.
It’s true that the studio is going to get the majority of the box office takings, but the theater chains can’t make a profit just by selling overpriced popcorn, soda, and candy. So they’ll have to take their small cut of the box office too. And then there are taxes that everyone involved has to pay.
The fact is – for The Power Rangers movie to be considered a huge success – the weekend box office would have needed to have taken in around $90 million worldwide. Unfortunately, it fell well short of that.
So when all is said and done, a movie like Power Rangers that cost $100 million to make might have to make as much as $300 million over the course of its run for the studio to actually see a decent profit. Depending on the competition the movie faces, this can be a steep hill to climb. And the release of Ghost in the Shell next weekend will make it even harder.
Even though Power Rangers is actually much better than many people were expecting it to be – it has a 46 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes – it also faces stiff competition from Disney’s massive hit Beauty and the Beast, which is breaking box office records this month. Even in its second week, this Juggernaut held on to the number one spot.
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Of course, Power Rangers also seems to be getting good word-of-mouth on social media and elsewhere, so there’s a chance that it won’t have the traditional 60 percent drop-off in the following week’s box office takings. Even so, achieving a $300 million overall worldwide box office from a starting point of only $59 million for the opening weekend would require remarkable longevity near the top of the box office for several weeks. This has happened to some movies – like last year’s unexpected mega hit Deadpool – but it may not be possible for The Power Rangers.
Then again, the studio can also count on making some of the money it needs to justify a sequel for Power Rangers from later DVD/Blu-ray sales. In the end, this movie may end up being on the knife edge between having a sequel or not having one. Then it will just come down to a judgment call on the part of studio executives as to whether they want to risk it or not. Generally, sequels make less money than original films.
[Featured Image by Lionsgate]