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Though it was intended to launch a whole franchise, the Power Rangers movie didn't quite live up to expectations, and plans for a sequel have yet to be announced. While there could be a few reasons to blame for the franchises ambiguous future, director Dean Israelite believes he knows why the film was not more of a success. In his opinion, the film should have been rated PG instead of PG-13, which would have allowed for more kids (the target audience) to see the movie. Here's what he had to say on if the rating affected Power Rangers:
Yes, definitely. Definitely. And not only do I think it, but there's been market studies on it, and the findings have been that if the movie were rated PG- I don't want to go into the specific numbers- but if the movie had been rated PG, there would have been more traffic. I think parents were unsure if they could bring their kids to the movie, which surprised me, because the movie is a tame PG-13.
Power Rangers decided to look at the classic TV series through a more adult lens, taking the usually campy material more seriously. This resulted in giving the film a PG-13 rating, which may have ultimately hampered more than helped. According to Dean Israelite, studies were done to see if the film would have done better rated PG, and the answer largely seems to be yes.
Dean Israelite told Screen Rant that he thinks parents were unsure if Power Rangers was appropriate for their children to see. True, the film might not be kid-friendly for its entire run (Rita sucking the life out of dudes, a backstory involving slut shaming), but kids can sometimes handle more than we think they can. While he personally thinks that it was alright for children, Israelite hopes that the movie may find more life after its digital and home release.
We did a lot of preview screenings, and to me, it felt like a seven-year-old might be scared, but in a good way. They liked that they were scared of Rita, but they still came out of the movie enjoying it, they liked what was going on. I think we really tread that line well, so it was disappointing that parents didn't know that they could take their kids to it. I'm hoping now, with it coming out on DVD and Blu-ray, and On Demand, that parents will feel more comfortable. That maybe they'll check it out for themselves and then see that it's suitable.
It's a shame that more kids may not have gotten the chance to see Power Rangers, but the movie didn't really do itself any favors by making it seem like it was more for teenagers and older fans of Power Rangers. That mix-matched tone is essentially the movie's biggest fault, as it wrestles with the inherently silly concept while adding (surprisingly good) teenage drama. If the movie does get a sequel thanks to good old fashion toy sales, then hopefully this is something they can course correct.
Power Rangers is out on Digital HD right now and will be available on store shelves on June 27, 2017.