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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

If you’re making a big budget blockbuster these days, chances are you aren’t just looking at one film. You’re looking at a series of films. Sure, Hollywood has always been about sequelizing. You can look back in recent decades and see the myriad of sequels that have spawned from amazing original films. With very few exceptions, however, they weren’t planned from the ground-up as franchises. It was more of a “let’s see how this does, and then maybe” kind of thing. It’s a reason why oftentimes sequels were inferior to their predecessors: the character arcs were already over, and there was nowhere else for them to go.

Nowadays, with the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems as though every studio is looking for the next big franchise to lean on for the foreseeable future. For the longest time for Lionsgate, that franchise was The Hunger Games. With that one now in the rearview mirror, however, they’ve had to look elsewhere, and they could have not picked a better franchise than the Power Rangers. Given that the original series has been around for well over two decades at this point, it’s one that’s meant for longevity. There’s a lot of lore to mine from, and a lot of potential places to go.

But how far is Lionsgate willing to go with this material? Last May, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer famously stated:

“We are really, really excited about the Power Rangers movie. We could see doing five or six or seven.”

Of course, this was before anyone had seen any footage, and before any concrete plans had even been made. At the time, it was difficult not to feel like he had jumped the gun in saying that. To many fans, it came across as presumptuous and greedy, and that’s something many moviegoers hate — especially of they feel like they’re being used to meet those ends.

It’s many months later (almost a year, in fact), the film is nearly on the eve of its official release, and we’ve seen more than our fair share of footage through trailers, TV spots, and clips. Critical reception may not be off to the best start just yet, but excitement for this film seems to be fittingly high, and Haim Saban of Saban Entertainment has gone on to get just a bit more specific on how far they are along in the planning process for the Power Rangers franchise.

“We already have a six-movie story arc.”

But can this film put out the performance needed to make this six-movie story a reality? That may be easier said than done. On a $120 million budget, they’ll need to make a pretty penny in order to break even. Had the film been released at a different time, we may not have much to worry about, but as our very own Edward Douglas pointed out in the latest edition of his Weekend Warrior column, Power Rangers is coming off the mammoth success of Beauty and the Beast.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT ED’S BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS FOR THIS UPCOMING WEEKEND!

Though while making a killing at the box office in its first weekend may be a tough sell, there is no denying that there is a real nostalgia factor to this flick that can’t be measured.

“People who are 27-to-33, who grew up on the show, have a real fondness for it,” the film’s director Dean Israelite said. “They have a nostalgic feeling for it and, if they’re parents, they want to share that with their kids.”

We’ll have to see in the coming weeks if this fondness is able to carry over into the box office and help make this six-movie story a reality. I for one as a 28-year-old who grew up on this show love the idea of seeing a host of these movies make it to the silver screen, and the fact that they have an idea of where this arc needs to go now is certainly helpful in getting me even more excited.

What do you think?

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SOURCE: Saban (via Variety)

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.