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In the past few years, it seems like the trend of nostalgia is everywhere. Tons of TV and film properties are being rebooted or given long awaited sequels, cashing in on 20-30 year olds who long for a simpler time. And one bit of 90's pop culture that made an unexpected move to the mainstream lexicon was the Power Rangers movie. Power Rangers brought back the characters and settings from the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series for a live-action blockbuster adventure. Unfortunately, the film wasn't quite the box office success it was hoping for, and it seemed like all hope for a sequel was lost. Until now.
Because while Power Rangers wasn't a massive box office success, it did end up making money. Namely, by contributing to the merchandise sales of the Power Rangers brand. A market research group has concluded (via ToyNews) that the action figures for the conglomerate went up 185.9 per cent versus 2016 for the month of April. Dean Israelite's movie likely contributed greatly to this outcome, which may the saving grace the budding film franchise needs to stay afloat.
Of course, this boost in merchandise sales is no guarantee for a Power Rangers 2 movie. The toy sales weren't exclusively for the movie, but also include its plethora of TV seasons. So the upswing could very well be due to a particularly exciting series of new episodes for the kids show.
However, movie production is all about making money. And merchandise a major source of income for studios, with potential toy sales having the power to change plot points in their corresponding films. We saw this with Iron Man 3, which was originally supposed to have a female villain take on Tony Stark. But when the higher ups decided a female villain wouldn't sell toys, changes were quickly made. That's how important sales are in factoring the success of a movie.
And Power Rangers wasn't a box office failure by any means. It recouped its investment and made a few million dollars in profit. But it was its lackluster performance in China that seemed to put a kabosh in a future sequel. Performance at the Chinese box office has been extremely important for films that are met with lukewarm reception in the states. And while this helped save films like Warcraft, the international market wasn't as kind to Power Rangers.
So while it seems a bit more likely that Power Rangers will be granted a sequel by Haim Saban, the future of the franchise is very much up in the air. The groundwork for a sequel was certainly laid through the narrative of the first film (especially in the mid-credits scene), so now its up to the studio if Bryan Cranston, Dacre Montgomery, Elizabeth Banks and company will be back for a sequel.