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It is the first blockbuster film to feature LGBTQ and autistic superheroes. Franchise creator Haim Saban returned to produce the film under his investment firm. The film premiered at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles on March 22, 2017, and was released in the United States on March 24, 2017. It was met with mixed reviews upon release, with criticism primarily focusing on its uneven tone, product placement and divergences from its source material, but praise aimed at the performances (particularly Montgomery's and Cyler's). It was also a box office disappointment, grossing $142 million worldwide against a budget of $105 million.
In the Cenozoic era, six interplanetary warriors, the Power Rangers, are tasked with protecting life on Earth and the Zeo Crystal. The Green Ranger, Rita Repulsa, betrays them and plans to dominate the universe. The Red Ranger, Zordon, survives Rita's attack and hides five of the Rangers' power source, the Power Coins. He orders Alpha 5, his robotic assistant, to perform a meteor strike that kills him, the dinosaurs, and sends Rita to the bottom of the sea, foiling her scheme.
In 21st-century Angel Grove, high school football star Jason Scott is dismissed from the team and placed under house arrest after a failed prank. In detention, he encounters Billy Cranston and Kimberly Hart. After defending Billy from a bully, Billy offers to deactivate Jason's ankle monitor for help at an old gold mine that evening. Once there, Jason leaves to explore and runs into Kimberly. Billy detonates explosives to break some rock, attracting the attention of Jason, Kimberly and nearby students Trini and Zack. The five discover the Power Coins and each take one. While escaping mine security, their car is hit by a train. The five find themselves at home the next morning and discover that the coins have granted them superhuman abilities. Elsewhere, Rita's body is found. Waking, she goes on a rampage, hunting pieces of gold to raise her minion Goldar to find the Zeo Crystal.
The five teenagers return to the mine and discover an ancient spaceship where they meet Alpha 5 and Zordon's consciousness. They inform the teenagers about the Rangers history and Rita, warning that they have eleven days until Rita has her full power, finds the Zeo Crystal, and uses it to destroy life on Earth. The five leave the ship with no intention of returning until Zordon pleads with Jason to convince the team.
The five return to train the next day, but they cannot morph. They spend the next week training against simulated Putties and trying unsuccessfully to morph. To inspire the Rangers, Alpha reveals the Zords. Zack takes his Zord out for a joyride and almost kills the other Rangers when he crashes it. This angers Jason, and they fight. While trying to separate the two, Billy spontaneously morphs. However, when he becomes conscious of it, the armor disappears. Angered at their lack of progress, Zordon dismisses the group. Jason returns to the ship to confront Zordon and discovers that once the Rangers morph, it will open the Morphing Grid and allow Zordon to restore himself in a physical body. Feeling betrayed, Jason accuses Zordon of using the team for his own benefit. That night, the team camp at the mine and bond with each other.
Later that night, Rita attacks Trini and orders her to bring the Rangers to the docks. Trini informs them about Rita and they arrive to fight, but are quickly defeated. Rita forces Billy to reveal the location of the Zeo Crystal, which he'd figured out, kills him, and releases the others. The Rangers take Billy's body to the ship and ask Zordon to resurrect him. The Rangers agree they would give their lives for each other and resolve to defeat Rita. In doing so, they unlock the Morphing Grid. Zordon revives Billy, sacrificing being able to restore his physical self. With the team restored and confident, the Rangers morph into their armor.
Rita creates Goldar, raises an army of Putties, and attacks Angel Grove to find the Zeo Crystal. The Rangers battle the Putties and head to Angel Grove in their Zords. After the Rangers destroy the Putties, Goldar pushes the Rangers and their Zords into a fiery pit. In the pit, the Zords combine and form the Megazord. Rita merges with Goldar. The Rangers battle and destroy Goldar. After refusing Jason's offer to surrender, a defiant Rita tells the Rangers that more will come for the crystal and leaps at the Megazord only to be slapped into space. The Rangers are praised as local heroes, and with Rita's threats foiled, they return to their normal lives while keeping their powers.
Bryan Cranston as Zordon: He is the Power Rangers' mentor and former Red Ranger. Zordon lived millions of years ago before his consciousness became a part of the Morphing Grid at the time of his death.
Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa: Millions of years old, she is the former Green Ranger who went rogue and killed her old team before being temporarily subdued by Zordon. She works to form the monster Goldar while attempting to steal the Zeo Crystal, an artifact that channels the Morphing Grid, a dimension that gives the Power Rangers their powers.
Saban Capital Group and Lionsgate announced the film in May 2014, with Roberto Orci originally attached to produce. Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz were hired to write the film's script. Orci eventually left the project to work on Star Trek Beyond. On April 10, 2015, TheWrap reported that Dean Israelite was in negotiations to direct the film. Israelite told IGN in an interview that the film would be "completely playful, and it needs to be really fun and funny. But like Project Almanac, it's going to feel very grounded at the same time, and very contemporary and have a real edge to it, and a real gut to it, it's going to be a fun, joyful [movie] but one that feels completely grounded in a real world, with real characters going through real things".Brian Tyler was brought on to compose the film's music. Israelite has said that the film updates itself from the original series, being more character-driven and incorporating naturalism and a grounded nature.
Actors began testing for the roles of the five Power Rangers on October 2, 2015. On October 7, 2015, Naomi Scott was cast as Kimberly. Newcomers Dacre Montgomery, Ludi Lin and RJ Cyler were then cast as Jason,Zack, and Billy, respectively. At the month's end, Becky G was chosen to play Trini. When it came to casting the Rangers, director Dean Israelite said, "From the very beginning, diversity was a very important part of the whole process," and that while the characters' races were switched around, he added that, "We made sure that the essence of each of those characters are who they were in the original show, and this really will be an origin story of those characters." On February 2, 2016, it was announced that Elizabeth Banks would portray Rita Repulsa. Four months later, Bryan Cranston, who voiced Twin Man and Snizard in the original series, announced he was cast as Zordon. Cranston revealed that he would perform motion-capture and CGI. In September 2016, Walter Emanuel Jones, the actor who played Zack in the original series, stated none of the original cast would cameo in the film. Towards the end of the month, comedian Bill Hader was cast as Alpha 5. In March 2017, it was reported that Amy Jo Johnson and Jason David Frank, who played Kimberly and Tommy in the original series, would cameo in the film, despite Jones' earlier comments.
Filming was originally set to begin in January 2016 but was rescheduled and began on February 29 in Vancouver. On May 28, 2016, filming was complete. Additional filming occurred in October 2016. A cast member claims that the film has broken the record for the longest wire jump, but this has not been independently confirmed.
Originally scheduled for release on July 22, 2016, Lionsgate delayed it to March 24, 2017.
The film received its world premiere in Berlin, Germany on March 17, 2017. All five of the surviving actors who originally portrayed the Rangers in the series attended the film's Los Angeles premiere on March 22, 2017. It was the first time they had been together publicly since 1995.
On March 3, 2016, Lionsgate released the first official photo of the five Rangers, and the following month, the company released the first official photo of Banks as Rita Repulsa. On May 5, the company unveiled the first official images of the Rangers' suits. Speaking of the suits, director Dean Israelite said that "The show was about kids coming of age, about metamorphosis, these suits needed to feel like they were catalyzed by these kids and their energy, their spirit", while production designer Andrew Menzies commented that the new suits are "an alien costume that grows on them, that's not man-made. You can't win everyone over, but we are trying to appeal to a more mature audience and gain new fans." A teaser poster was released in June, with additional character posters released in July, September, and October. On October 8, 2016, a Discover The Power teaser trailer for the film was released.
A fictional Angel Grove High School Newspaper website was created, alongside the official Power Rangers website, which features a GIF creator that allows users to make a GIF out of scenes from the teaser trailer. There is also an official toyline, produced by Bandai, and an extensive merchandising range was produced to promote the film.
Max Landis, who was fired from writing the film, criticized the trailer, saying that it looked like Chronicle, a film that he had written. The trailer garnered mixed reactions, with some praising it for its darker, contemporary reimagining of the classic characters, while still looking action-packed and fun at the same time, and others criticizing it for its lack of connection to the original series, saying it appeared "brooding". The trailer received over 150 million views in the first two days after it was uploaded. Lionsgate revealed the T-Rex zord toy, among others, on October 28, 2016, and the Power Rangers Twitter account revealed the Megazord toy on November 4, 2016. On November 15, 2016, Lionsgate revealed the toys based on the film's individual Zords.
On December 8, 2016, a new poster debuted, as well as a photo of Rita Repulsa. On December 19, 2016, Lionsgate and Boom! Studios announced that they would release a graphic novel titled Power Rangers: Aftershock, set immediately after the events of the movie. An international trailer was released on December 22, 2016.Qualcomm and Lionsgate produced a virtual reality mobile app of the film Power Rangers Movie Command Center that was exhibited at the CES 2017, from January 5-8, 2017, and was released in the App Store on March 8, 2017. On January 19, a second trailer, titled It's Morphin Time!, was released. Lionsgate debuted yet another trailer, which it called the All-Star Trailer, on February 17. New TV spots were released on February 27, two about the Power Rangers, and one about Rita Repulsa. A clip was released on March 6, followed by two more on March 9. Thirty-seven stills were then released. Another TV spot was released on March 10. In the final week before the movie premiered, two more clips, as well as photos, were released.
A Build-A-Bear Workshop Power Ranger product range was announced on March 9, 2017.Krispy Kreme released doughnuts to promote the film, and served as an advertising partner. Placement of Krispy Kreme products and locations were featured in the film numerous times.
The group collaborated with YouTube sports entertainment group Dude Perfect ahead of the film's release, in a video titled Dude Perfect vs. Power Rangers.
Power Rangers was released on Digital HD on June 13, 2017, and was followed by a release on Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on June 27, 2017 with retail exclusive variants being made available at Best Buy,Target and Wal-Mart. The film debuted at the No. 1 spot on the NPD VideoScan overall disc sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales; NPD's dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart; and Home Media Magazine's video rental chart for the week ending July 2, 2017. The film retained the top spot on the NPD VideoScan's overall disc sales chart for the week ending on July 9, 2017.
Power Rangers grossed $85.4 million in the United States and Canada and $57 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $142.3 million, against a production budget of $100 million.
In the United States and Canada, Power Rangers opened alongside Life, CHiPs and Wilson, and was projected to gross $30-35 million from 3,693 theaters on its opening weekend. The film made $3.6 million from Thursday night previews and $15 million on its first day. It went on to debut to $40.3 million, finishing second at the box office behind Beauty and the Beast ($90.4 million). The audience was notably diverse and mostly 18-34 years old. In its second weekend the film grossed $14.5 million (a drop of 64%), finishing 4th at the box office. In June 2017, Dean Israelite said that the film's PG-13 rating probably contributed to the film's underperformance at the box office.
Power Rangers received mixed reviews from critics. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 46% based on 149 reviews, and an average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Power Rangers has neither the campy fun of its TV predecessor nor the blockbuster action of its cinematic superhero competitors, and sadly never quite manages to shift into turbo for some good old-fashioned morphin time." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score 44 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported 66% of audience members gave the film a "definite recommend".
IGN gave the film a 7/10, saying, "Power Rangers doesn't quite pull off everything it wants to, but it's a fun time at the theater nonetheless." Mike McCahill of The Guardian wrote that "the film achieves a functioning mediocrity we perhaps might have thought beyond this franchise," and gave it 2 out of 5 stars.
Mike Ryan of Uproxx gave the film a negative review, writing: "Power Rangers has one of the most zig-zagged tones of any big budget studio film I've seen in a long time. It's jarring at times how often it goes back and forth between 'gritty' and 'silly'." Writing for Variety, Owen Gleiberman also criticized the film's conflicting tones, saying: "...25 years ago, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was launched as superhero fodder for kids, and there was indeed a place for it, but we're now so awash in superhero culture that kids no longer need the safe, lame, pandering junior-league version of it. They can just watch Ant-Man or the PG-13 Suicide Squad. Safe, lame, and pandering have all grown up." In a review for The Telegraph, Robbie Collin gave it 1/5 stars, criticizing the "abjectly embarrassing frenzy of product placement".
In a May 2016 conference call to analysts, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer stated, "We could see doing five or six or seven." On March 22, 2017, Haim Saban said that he and Lionsgate already have a six-film story arc. However in May 2017, Forbes noted that due to the underwhelming performance of the film in most markets, it was unlikely any sequels would be made. Later that same month, it was reported that the sequels could still be made thanks to record-breaking merchandise sales. Prior to the home release of the movie, Israelite confirmed that talks were taking place regarding a sequel and that he would like to include Lord Zedd in it. The possibility of a sequel increased once more in early July 2017 when it was reported that the film held the number one spot in home media sales and rentals in its first week. In August 2017, Saban abandoned its trademark for the film's logo. A Saban Brands representative stated in October 2017 that "Power Rangers continues to own and renew hundreds of trademark registrations worldwide, including for the 2017 movie logo. The trademark registration process is very nuanced, and the status of the single application has no bearing on our ownership of or the future plans for Power Rangers. The franchise remains as strong and enthusiastic about its future as ever." On May 1, 2018, Saban Brands agreed to sell Power Rangers and other entertainment assets to Hasbro (who came close to buying Lionsgate, but failed) for US$522 million in cash and stock with the sale expect to closed in the second quarter.
On August 8, 2018, Hasbro announced they would be working with a film studio (it's unclear if it would be Lionsgate) to develop a follow-up to Power Rangers.
^In the source material, Tommy Oliver was a male, but the cast of the film and the actor who played Oliver in the source material expressed interest in a female version of the character in a sequel.
^ abNolfi, Joey (June 29, 2016). "Power Rangers: Bryan Cranston teases Zordon character details". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved 2016. After lending his voice (uncredited) to villains like Twin Man and Snizard across two 1993 episodes of the Fox Kids program, it was announced earlier in June that Cranston's role in the Power Rangers series had been upgraded to that of Zordon, a mentor to the teenage gang of do-gooders tasked with saving the world from an alien invasion led by the evil Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks).