It’s worth noting that Power Rangers is not the only tv-to-film adaptation on the block this week. The other one is Dax Shepard‘s goofy take on the late 70s comedy series CHIPS, which is not looking very healthy at the box office after the Friday numbers started trickling in. The differences in approach are of particular interest, as Shepard’s film is a film that shirks any responsibility to embrace the modern day. In contrast, Power Rangers aggressively attempts to be part of the here and now, overtly playing towards the teenager crowd rather than nostalgists, though the latter category has seemingly been embracing the film as well thus far.
Indeed, Power Rangers ended Friday with an estimated $15 million, putting on track for an admirable $40 million weekend overall. The movie cost $100 million to make and we won’t now it’s full impact overseas for a little bit, but there’s definitely a fanbase for this in international territories. As long as it can stay in the top five for another two frames or so, the movie seems destined to spawn at least one more sequel. It also helps that the movie, though not exactly good, is not overtly formulaic and never bores. It’s problematic on several levels – the product placement is egregious – but it’s entertaining and unpredictable. In that, Power Rangers unfortunately counts as something unique.
Still, the quintet was not enough to fend off Emma Watson and her CGI be-horned beau, as Beauty and the Beast took the top spot for the second Friday in a row with $23.5 million. Unless we see some major dips in today’s numbers, one should expect Power Rangers to finish strong in second place, with third newcomer, the innocuous sci-fi horror show Life, placing in third with $4.4 million. Meanwhile, Kong: Skull Island came in fourth with $3.7 million and Logan took in $2.6 million to finish in fifth. CHIPS arrived in sixth place, right above Jordan Peele‘s Get Out, and it’s unlikely to move from that position before the weekend ends. Though Power Rangers has a much bigger, much younger built-in fanbase than CHIPS, the paradigm should serve as a didactic tale in how to properly refashion a franchise that could have been another forgettable waste of time and resources.