When a film that was planned as a summer release gets moved to a date that is any time other than the summer it usually spells danger. Quite often it can be a sign that a studio doesn’t have much hope that the film is going to be successful. Lionsgate, however, says not to worry. They seem confident that the new Power Rangers movie will do just fine in January. Their evidence? American Sniper.
Lionsgate shared their upcoming film slate and The Wrap reports that while discussing the previously announced move of the upcoming Power Rangers reboot from Summer 2016 to January 2017, the studio asked the media not to read anything into the decision. According to them, recent releases, like American Sniper show that a January release and box office success can occur together. Lionsgate co-chair Rob Friedmen put it succinctly:
We really believe that great movies deliver no matter what date they’re on.
While it’s true that American Sniper was an incredibly successful film that was released wide in January -- it’s taken in over $500 Million worldwide at the box office -- there were also a lot of other factors that went into its success. It’s something of a politically divisive film, which drove many people into the theaters in order to support this particular take on the subject matter. It’s difficult to say if faithful viewers of a weekday afternoon kids’ show from the 1990's will be quite as dedicated to the cause. On the other hand, Power Rangers will likely win out in the special effects category.
To be fair, Lionsgate may be onto something here. The simple fact is that summer is really crowded and it’s only going to get worse. With multiple Marvel films already in production, another slate of DC properties in the works, and who knows how many different Star Wars films we’re going to be dealing with, there simply may not be enough room in the summer for everybody. That includes everybody with a superhero movie or a nostalgic reboot.
Perhaps separating Power Rangers from the rest of the summer noise is a smart move. It certainly won’t stop any diehard fans from going to see it, and it may become an option for fans on the fence who won’t be choosing between it and the Ghostbusters reboot or Star Trek Beyond. If Power Rangers is a success in January we may start to see other films take the hint. Are we on the verge of an "endless summer" with big blockbuster movies all year round? Is that a good thing?
Power Rangers is now set for a January 13, 2017 release.