It is going to be a beast of a weekend in terms of competition at the box office.
Three new films enter the fray - Saban's Power Rangers, Sony's space horror-thriller Life and Warner Bros.' CHIPs - but none are likely to reduce holdover Beauty and the Beast to zero-gravity status.
Disney's Beauty, a live-action adaptation of the 1991 classic animated musical, opened last weekend to a historic $174.8 million and could earn $80 million or more in its second outing. The movie raced passed the $200 million mark on Wednesday for an early global tally of nearly $430 million.
From Lionsgate, Power Rangers is a modern-day reimagining of the popular 1990s TV series about a group of five ordinary teens who must save the galaxy. The film, rated PG-13, is projected to earn $30 million to $40 million in its domestic debut. Lionsgate insiders say that would be a fine start for the pic, in line with such titles as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Maze Runner.
Costing a reported $100 million to make, Power Rangers will need a long life at the box office to achieve its goal and launch a new film franchise.
Overseas, the pic is set to open in 62 international territories, including the U.K., Australia, Germany, Brazil, Mexico and Russia. Power Rangers stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G and Ludi Lin alongside Bill Hader, Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks.
Life, from Skydance and Sony, should follow with a projected $15 million to $20 million debut. The space horror-thriller, which is expected to play to older adults, certainly doesn't lack for star power between Jack Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson.
Daniel Espinosa directed the R-rated movie, which was written by Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and tells the tale of an international space crew who recover a probe from Mars containing signs of alien life. The $65 million movie made its premiere at the recent SXSW Film Festival and boasts an 83 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, compared with 48 percent for Power Rangers.
There are no reviews yet for CHIPs, an R-rated update of the popular buddy-cop TV series about two California Highway Patrol officers that debuted in the late 1970s. From Warner Bros., the action-comedy film cost $25 million to produce and was directed by Dax Shepard, who stars opposite Michael Pena.
CHIPs is projected to bow in the $10 million-$12 million range.
Read more: 'Life': Film Review | SXSW 2017