Saban’s Power Rangers was a darker, more grounded take on the popular franchise. Although the film is certainly the most serious iteration of these characters, it had its share of lighthearted fun thanks to the great chemistry found in the film’s five main leads.
The highlights of the film, even more so than the actual Power Rangers action sequences were the intimate moments in which our Breakfast Club of heroes were together having conversations about the struggles of adolescence as well as the responsibilities of being the Power Rangers. Dacre Montgomery, RJ Cyler, Naomi Scott, Becky G and Ludi Lin all turned in remarkable performances and should be proud of their work together.
Unfortunately, the film was not the box office success Lionsgate was hoping for. Domestically, it grossed a modest $85.3 million while it also took in $54.8 million in the international markets, bringing its total worldwide gross at $140.2 million against a budget of $100 million. Chances of a sequel seem unlikely, but successful toy sales may keep the hopes of a sequel alive.
As for why the film under performed at the box office, director Dean Isrealite felt that the film’s PG-13 rating affected the film’s financial performance. While speaking to ScreenRant, Isrealite expressed why he believes the rating played a factor:
“Yes, definitely. Definitely. And not only do I think it, but there’s been market studies on it, and the findings have been that if the movie were rated PG- I don’t want to go into the specific numbers- but if the movie had been rated PG, there would have been more traffic. I think parents were unsure if they could bring their kids to the movie, which surprised me, because the movie is a tame PG-13.
We did a lot of preview screenings, and to me, it felt like a seven-year-old might be scared, but in a good way. They liked that they were scared of Rita, but they still came out of the movie enjoying it, they liked what was going on. I think we really tread that line well, so it was disappointing that parents didn’t know that they could take their kids to it. I’m hoping now, with it coming out on DVD and Blu-ray, and On Demand, that parents will feel more comfortable. That maybe they’ll check it out for themselves and then see that it’s suitable.”
The original Power Rangers television series were mostly aimed for younger audiences. Because this reboot of the franchise took a more serious tone, the PG-13 rating may have scared away parents from taking their younger children to see the film.
Either way, if a sequel to the film ever sees the light of day and Isrealite ends up returning to the director’s chair, lightening up the tone for younger audiences would make sense.
Saban’s Power Rangers will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on June 27, 2017.