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Lionsgate Could Make Up to Seven More ‘Power Rangers’ Movies

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said the studio may make as many as seven more “Power Rangers” movies, underlining the company’s bullishness over the upcoming film.

“We are really, really excited about the ‘Power Rangers’ movie,” Feltheimer said during a conference call Thursday with analysts. “We could see doing five or six or seven.”

The CEO cited the positive reaction to the costume reveal as evidence of audience interest. The suits consist of translucent armor that crystallizes around the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ bodies.

The studio has tapped Dean Israelite to direct the film and has cast five young actors to star — 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 RJ Cyler as the Blue Ranger. Elizabeth Banks will play the evil alien witch Rita Repulsa.

“Power Rangers” will hits theaters on March 24. The story reimagines the origins of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, a group of high school kids given extraterrestrial powers who unite to save the world.

Feltheimer also said during the call that Lionsgate’s next movie, “Now You See Me 2,” is tracking ahead of the 2013 original — which grossed over $350 million worldwide. The sequel, which brings back nearly all of the stars, opens June 10.

The CEO also singled out the thriller “Nerve,” starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, as showing strong traction with more than 20 million YouTube views of the trailer. He noted that Lionsgate decided to move “Nerve” into a summer release date of July 27 following audience reactions to test screenings that went “through the roof.”

Feltheimer also expressed optimism that romance “La La Land,” starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, could be a breakout hit at the end of the year, and that Tyler Perry’s Halloween comedy “Boo!” will be a smash. “That was kind of a slam dunk,” he added.

Rob Friedman, co-head of the studio’s motion picture group, told the analysts Lionsgate is spending about $100 million less on movies in the fiscal year 2017 than it did during the prior year, which ended March 31 and included underperformers “Gods of Egypt” and “The Divergent Series: Allegiant.” The studio is also releasing 17 movies this year, three more than last year.

“We believe very much of our strategy of offering more product for wider audiences and clearly at a more efficient price,” Friedman noted. “We like the doubles area. If you look at the first ‘Twilight’ and the first ‘Hunger Games,’ we were planning for doubles and ended up with grand slams.”

Feltheimer admitted that the studio may have been too rushed in getting “Allegiant” released in time for its March opening. “Ascendant,” the final film in the Shailene Woodley “Divergent” franchise, has been pushed back three months to June of 2017.

Lionsgate’s earnings, released after the market closed Wednesday, came in above Wall Street forecasts due to a stronger-than-expected performance from its TV side.

Shares of Lionsgate rose 8%, gaining $1.62 to $21.39 at mid-session Thursday.

Lionsgate execs said there is strong interest among networks for a fifth season of country music drama “Nashville,” which was cancelled by ABC earlier this month and noted that Ed Zwick is on as the showrunner for the fifth season.

 

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