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Box Office: ‘Power Rangers’ Surges to $3.6 Million on Thursday

Variety logo Variety 3/24/2017 Dave McNary
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Lionsgate’s “Power Rangers” has launched with a solid $3.6 million at 2,700 North American locations from Thursday night previews.

Sony’s sci-fi thriller “Life” grossed $800,000 from 2,627 preview showings and Warner Bros.’ comedy “Chips’ pulled in $500,000.

“Power Rangers,” a reboot of the 1990’s television show about five teenage superheroes, is opening at 3,693 locations Friday with expectations of about $30 million for the weekend. The cast features Becky G. as the Yellow Ranger, Ludi Lin as the Black Ranger, Naomi Scott as the Pink Ranger, Dacre Montgomery as the Red Ranger and R.J. Cyler as the Blue Ranger. Elizabeth Banks plays the evil alien witch Rita Repulsa.

The movie reimagines the origins of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, a group of high schoolers given extraterrestrial powers who unite to save the world. Lionsgate and Haim Saban announced plans in 2014 for a live-action movie based on Saban’s “Power Rangers” property as the first film in a franchise. “Power Rangers” carries a $100 million price tag.

The “Power Rangers” preview number nearly matched the $3.7 million that “Kong: Skull Island” took in two weeks ago on its way to a $61 million opening weekend.

Disney’s second weekend of its smash hit “Beauty and the Beast” should dominate the box office with as much as $90 million at 4,210 locations. The film, starring Emma Watson grossed a stunning $217 million domestically in its first six days and $461 million worldwide as of Wednesday.

Sony and Skydance are opening the R-rated “Life,” starring Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Ryan Reynolds, at 3,146 sites with forecasts in the $15 million range. The story, set on the International Space Station, focuses on a team of scientists investigating a probe from Mars that may contain proof of extraterrestrial life.

“Life,” which has a $58 million budget, premiered at South by Southwest on March 18 and has generated mixed reviews with a 62% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Warner Bros. is rolling out action-comedy “Chips,” starring Dax Shepard and Michael Pena, amid muted expectations of about $8 million at 2,464 theaters. The R-rated reboot of the TV series, which starred Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox, has not gained much critical traction with a 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Shepard also wrote, directed and produced “Chips,” which has a modest $25 million budget. It also stars his spouse Kristen Bell along with Vincent D’Onofrio, Adam Brody and Rosa Salazar.

The third weekend of Warner-Legendary’s “Kong: Shull Island” will likely lead “Chips” with about $14 million at 3,666 sites. “Skull Island” has taken in $117 million domestically in its first 13 days.

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