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Why’d it Bomb? Power Rangers (2017)

Kevthewriter wonders why the new Power Rangers fizzed out.

Considering it was based on a big franchise, you’d think the 2017 version of Power Rangers would be a hit. In fact, Lionsgate was so confident in this movie they announced that it would get 5 sequels before it even came out. But, when it did come out, it underperformed at the box office and Lionsgate says they are not sure the sequels are going to happen. But why did this would-be franchise stumble right out of the gate?

4. Does anyone care about Power Rangers anymore?
Power Rangers used to be really, really popular…in the 90’s. Nowadays, while the franchise is still going on, even having TV shows continuing to this day, the franchise isn’t as popular as it used to be so fewer people probably cared.

3. Power Rangers movies have never been big at the box office
Before this movie, there were two Power Rangers movies that went to theaters. The first came out during the Power Rangers phenomenon in 1995 and yet it still made only $38 million domestically and $28 million worldwide. Considering it was made on a budget of $15 million dollars, it definitely was a success but the numbers weren’t anything special, even by the standards of the 90’s. Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie was a bomb, though, making $9 million domestic and worldwide despite opening on over 2,000 theaters. This, being made on a budget of $100 million dollars, was the most pricey Power Rangers movie ever and, when you consider what the other Power Rangers movies made, it seems like it was a bad idea making a big budget Power Rangers film in the first place.

2. Competition
At the time it came out in theaters, the Beauty and the Beast remake was still making truckloads of money at the box office and it ended up having competition from, of all movies, Boss Baby. Not only that but The Fate of the Furious came out a few weeks later, further burying the movie.

1. That. Damn. Teaser Trailer
You know why I think this movie didn’t do as well as expected? This trailer:

It made the movie look like it was taking itself too seriously and many people probably thought that, of all things to give a gritty reboot to, Power Rangers wasn’t one of them. The fact that the reviews were mixed at best probably didn’t convince anyone to go see this movie (even though the few I know who did see it liked it).

Unfortunately, Power Rangers doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a movie franchise anytime soon. Oh well. Who wants to get some Krispy Kreme now?

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Posted on September 9, 2017, in Why'd it bomb? and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. In some ways, it makes sense why they may have thought they had a potential hit on their hands. At the time the tMNT reboot hit theaters, Ninja Turtles had been out of relevance since 1993 or there about. Yet that became a hit.

    It was the Power rangers that took the Ninja Turtles place in pop culture relevance. While i had a mild interest in the Turtles (I was in elementary school when they first became popular), I was a little too old to have any real interest in the Power Rangers (I was in high school when they really took off in popularity). I tried watching a couple episodes of the TV show and was unimpressed. I saw enough of the first movie to determine it was pretty mediocre and thus developed an apathy about the rangers.

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  2. I think that as kev notes, the producers’ sights were set too high. The 1995 Power Rangers film was a financial success, even though it ranked only 45th at the box office that year, because it was made on a modest budget. If they’d given this one a more reasonable budget, somewhere in the $40 million range, they could have ended up making money even if it wasn’t a big hit.

    The other thing that could be a factor—and I say this not having seen the movie—is that the makers may have forgotten their target audience. Power Rangers is a kids show; the first movie, which had a PG rating, was more or less pitched at the show’s normal audience. This one had a PG-13 rating, suggesting that it wasn’t really suited for the show’s natural demographic.

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    • True, that could be a factor but I guess they saw that Transformers and TMNT had PG-13’s and yet were still successes so they thought that maybe they could replicate that (which they couldn’t)

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    • That being said, the teaser trailer, like I said before, really did make it seem like they forgot their target audience, which might’ve turned people away from the movie

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    • I think you have hit the nail on the head with both points. Unfortunately, studios are not interested in midrange hits anymore. They want to swing for the fences every single time. For the last few years, they have been able to count on overseas grosses to bail them out when these big budget tentpoles don’t connect with domestic audiences. But China, which represents the biggest and most desirable international market, is developing its movie industry. The appetite for American movies is slowly dwindling which is bad news for studios who were counting on them as a safety net for The Mummy, Pirates 5 and the latest Transformers. Might be good news for us though if it forced studio execs to reign in their spending.

      I remember seeing the trailer that Kev wrote about and wondering “Who the heck is this for?” It looked way too mature for the Power Rangers crowd. The trailer immediately called to mind the grim Fantastic Four reboot which is not a good thing. I hear the actual movie is looser and goofier than the marketing materials would have suggested. Apparently, it’s not that bad. So I think the marketing team dropped the ball there. But even if they had sold the movies too the Power Rangers fanbase, I’m not sure there are enough fans to turn a profit on such an expensive movie. The Rangers craze peaked in the 90’s and they were never THAT popular.

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