“Power Rangers” earned $3.6 million at the Thursday previews, with the Mighty Morphins on track for a $35 million weekend.
Heading into the weekend, independent trackers predicted the film will make $35 million in its 3,693 screen opening, while Lionsgate’s predictions were a tad lower, at $30 million to $33 million.
Back in 2014, the live-action reboot of another classic kids TV show, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” had a preview gross of $4.6 million and went on to earn $65 million its opening weekend. Last summer’s “TMNT” sequel “Out of the Shadows” grossed $2 million at the Thursday box office for a $30 million opening weekend.
The big question this weekend will be whether the teen superheroes even have a chance to dethrone “Beauty and the Beast,” which opened last weekend to a record-setting $174.8 million. Even if the live-action remake starring Emma Watson drops 50 percent from its opening total, “Power Rangers” would still not come anywhere near the monster that is “Beauty and the Beast.”
“Power Rangers” was produced for $105 million and retells the story of the TV show’s first season back in 1993, with five teens from Angel Grove being summoned by the mysterious Zordon (Bryan Cranston) to become the Power Rangers and take on his former ally-turned-villain, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). Dean Israelite directed the film from a screenplay by John Gatins, with “Power Rangers” creator Haim Saban producing with Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen and Brian Casentini. The film has received mixed reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, with current scoring at 44 percent.
Other new releases include Warner Bros.’ “CHIPS,” a comedy based on the hit ’70s TV series of the same name. It stars Dax Shepard and Michael Pena as a pair of California Highway Patrol officers tasked with bringing down a sadistic ex-cop (Vincent D’Onofrio). The film grossed $500,000 at the Thursday preshows.
Heading into the weekend, projections placed the film at around $10 million to $11 million. Shepard directed, wrote and produced the film for $25 million. Its reviews accumulate to 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
And finally, Columbia Pictures is opening the sci-fi horror flick “Life,” starring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal, which earned $800,000 from 2,627 locations on Thursday.
Director Daniel Espinosa’s movie received mostly positive reviews from critics who saw it at SXSW, but it’s estimated by trackers to only open to between $12 million and $17 million against a $58 million budget. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a score of 62 percent.
Rebecca Ferguson also stars in the film about astronauts on a Mars exploration team that finds itself in terrible danger when the alien specimen they recovered turns hostile and threatens to kill them all on their voyage back to Earth.