Box Office Report: ‘Power Rangers’ Morph a Surprise But ‘Beast’ Still Reigns Worldwide

Box Office Report: ‘Power Rangers’ Morph a Surprise But ‘Beast’ Still Reigns Worldwide

Mar 27, 2017

Here's your estimated 3-day box office returns (new releases bolded):

1. Beauty and the Beast - $88.3 million ($316.9 million total)

2. Power Rangers - $40.5 million ($40.5 million total)

3. Kong: Skull Island - $14.4 million ($133.0 million total)

4. Life - $12.6 million ($12.6 million total)

5. Logan - $10.1 million ($201.4 million total)

6. Get Out - $8.6 million ($147.4 million total)

7. CHiPs - $7.6 million ($7.6 million total)

8. The Shack - $3.7 million ($49.0 million total)

9. The Lego Batman Movie - $1.9 million ($170.8 million total)

10. The Belko Experiment - $1.8 million ($7.5 million total)

The Big Stories

Sometimes there is just no calculating precisely what the North American public will spend their money on at the box office. Quiet tracking companies, you have nothing to brag about as of late. Then again, neither do I this week since for weeks, even months, I have been wondering precisely who the audience was for a “PG-13” reboot of a generation’s cheesy international superhero show. This wasn’t Adam West going to Tim Burton given the pre-existence of a darker Batman incarnation. This was the dang Mighty Morphin Power Rangers who already had two shots at cinematic glory and failed. 20 years later and it was franchise-desperate Lionsgate looking to reboot it and today, at least, they can celebrate. Just not nearly as much as Disney.

 

It's Morphin’ Time! Right?

When the first MM Power Rangers film opened in June of 1995 it started with $13.1 million, finished with $38.1 million in the U.S. and made only and additional $28.2 million overseas. Heck, it only cost $15 million so why not a sequel? That brought us Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie in March of 1997. It made $9.6 million. No, not opening weekend. Total. U.S. and Internationally. CHiPs is going to make more than that. But more on that in a bit. So is a series that made about $75 million total over two films worth trying to embrace the same audience with a grittier, more socially-conscious redux?

Wherever the answer lies, it seems to be working so far. A $40 million opening makes it the sixth best of 2017 right in the middle of seven films that made it to $100 million. Victory, right? But here’s the rub. This version of Power Rangers carries a production budget of $105 million. Now, since 1998, no film has opened in March to over $36 million and failed to reach nine digits here. In fact, the lowest gross on an opening between $36-43 million is $122 million which would amount to about a 3.01 multiple. Anyone taking the under for Power Rangers on that? The film did get the family-inspired “A” from Cinemascore, so it’s not entirely out of the realm. Lionsgate did manage to snag over $277 million from international sales on La La Land. Surely Saban Films must have some fans elsewhere to turn this into a hit. Surprise for me, but maybe not for them.

 

Is Life An Anagram Too?

Remember when there was speculation that Sony’s sci-fi terror tale, Life, was rumored to be a warm-up for their Spider-Man Venom spinoff? That was a fun couple of days. Too bad for them it wasn’t actually the case as it may have dragged a few more fanboys into the theaters to give it a look. Heck, Eddie Murphy & Martin Lawrence’s comic prison drama, Life, opened to $20+ million back in 1999 while Daniel Espinoza’s Alien/Species/Gravity wannabe limped out to under $13 million. Sony is not having a particularly great year in the U.S. Underworld: Blood Wars grossed only $30.3 million and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter did even less with $26.8 million and a mere 1.97 multiple from its opening weekend. The good news for the latter is that another $280 million overseas has actually made Milla Jovovich’s final appearance as Alice Sony’s biggest success since SPECTRE. Unless Life can make a little killing internationally, the $58 million budgeted film is likely to land somewhere in-between recent Sony failures of The Magnificent Seven and Ghostbusters. Maybe they should put more behind Danny Boyle’s superior T2: Trainspotting instead of burying it in platform release. The film has grossed over $612,000 to date in just 59 theaters.

Warner Bros. CHiPs is just generally kind of sad all along. They didn’t screen it for press except in areas where they wanted interviews. A 21% Rotten Tomatoes score followed along with a $7 million opening. Since WB struck more Harry Potter gold with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them last November, most of it was then lost to Collateral Beauty and Live By Night. The Lego Batman Movie got a little of it back (even if its done about $175 million less overall than The Lego Movie,) but Fist Fight evened that out again. Kong: Skull Island remains on pace to hit our first estimate of $159 million in the U.S. and with over $258 million internationally so far those numbers look strong. But the truth is that until it finds another $136 million it will remain in the red. Oh yeah and CHiPs. Only a $25 million budget will make this just a blip on the WB books, but another red blip all the same.

 

Tales of the Top Ten

Remember how I mentioned Disney? That’s because Beauty and the Beast is another monster for them. $316 million domestically makes it the 6th highest-grossing film ever after 10 days. It is just $4 million behind Avengers: Age of Ultron, but was $4 million ahead of that film’s second weekend. If that pace continues then it is headed for the Top 10 list of all-time domestic grossers, passing even Star Wars. The film is also over $700 million worldwide, best of the year to date, with no slowing down in sight.

Logan, meanwhile, has passed the $200 million mark. It is still $5 million off the pace of Days of Future Past (which made $233.9 million) even though it had a slightly better fourth weekend. Jordan Peele’s Get Out has not reached that highbar yet, but it will be at $150 million this week. $150 million for a film by a first-time black director starring an actor barely known as Emily Blunt’s partner in Sicario. It doesn’t matter how much Beauty and the Beast makes because this will be the most exceptional box office story of 2017. Once it reaches $161.2 million, Get Out will have the best word-of-mouth multiple for a film to open in February in the past 20 years. A socially-conscious horror-comedy crowd-pleaser. Amazing what happens when the public speaks well of you.


- Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]

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