Before the Power Rangers reboot hit theaters a few months, Lionsgate talked a big game about having long-term plans for the movie franchise. Those plans might have to be shelved now, though, thanks to a disastrous box office performance in China this past weekend.
While the movie’s performance in the West didn’t exactly set the world on fire, Power Rangers was at least on track for a potential sequel if it performed well when it opened in China this past weekend... which it very much didn’t. Power Rangers scraped in a measly $1.4 million dollars in its opening day in the country, culminating in an opening weekend of just $3.3 million dollars.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, in contrast, took in $49.4 million in its recent opening weekend in China. Ouch. That’s a drubbing worth of sending the Rangers gymnastically twirling away from a giant pyrotechnical effect.
Although Power Rangers still has its opening in Japan—the ancestral home of the series’ source material, Super Sentai—to come, it’s unlikely to have an effect that could see a Power Rangers 2 get greenlit, let alone six sequels based on the reboot.
It’s honestly kind of a shame. Dean Israelite’s reboot had some flaws, but it laid a great groundwork for potential sequels to build on and deliver a lot of the fun the first movie had in its final act. Now it seems unlikely that at least this incarnation of the Rangers won’t get that chance. I hope we don’t have to wait a Rita-esque 10,000 years to see the franchise take another crack at the big screen.