Divergent, the science-fiction thriller, scored big for the weekend box office. The sci-fi thriller from Lionsgate Studios that stars Shailene Woodley, was the top box-office draw over the weekend, when it pulled in more than $56 million with the weekend debut. The box office receipts were less than anticipated, but firmly established the feature as the third of the franchise, that includes The Hunger Games, and Twilight.
The franchises appear to be popular with mostly female young adults, as most of the audiences were less than 25, and almost 60 percent were girls. The receipts were less than those of the predecessors, as Twilight earn almost $70 million in its opening, and the Hunger Games earned a whopping $152.5 million when it opened in 2012. Lionsgate officials still appear to be pleased with the results, and state that 2 sequels in already in production.
The movie Divergent was produced at a cost of $85 million, and was based one of Veronica Roth’s best-selling novels. The franchises also appear to have success in controlling the niche where others have failed. Other films of the same genre, that catered to young adults, such as City of Bones, Mortal Instruments , and Vampire Academy were not greeted with the same reception.
Divergent’s big box-office scores gained over the weekend, were the second biggest opening of the year, following those of the Lego Movie, that earned $69 million. Following Divergent’s big box-office score over the weekend, was the Muppet’s Most Wanted, from Disney studios and God’s not Dead from Freestyle Releasing.
The sequels catering to the young-adult demographic are expected to perform better that the original. The second in the series, titled Insurgent, should begin production in May, and should be in theaters by March of 2015, according to officials, and Allegiant , the following sequel, is expected to be in the cinemas in March of 2016.
The top position for Divergent is expected to be short-lived, as the biblical tale from Paramount, starring Russell Crowe, titled Noah, is expected to assume the No. 1 position next weekend. Religious based features have traditionally done well over the Easter periods. Next month, the Riley Scott produced epic :Moses will hit the cinemas, and earlier in the month, the Son of God from Fox studios preceded a wide slate of religious based films, when it opened to collect an impressive $26 million in box-office receipts.
Officials at Lionsgate believe there is still some room for Divergent to run as the spring break continues, and a different audience may be attracted. The large screen format such as those from Imax may have been partly responsible for much of the movie’s success, as it they contributed to more than 16 percent of the total sales.
The reviews of the movie, so far have been mixed, and analysts believe that the wider appeal may be limited. Like the predecessors the Hunger Games and Twilight, Divergent was based on popular young adult novels from Veronica Roth, that have sold almost 18 million copies, and the analysts also predict the opening weekend audience will be made up of at least 50 percent of people who have read the book
While Divergent’s big box-office weekend scores may not continue, the experts agree that the franchises remain alive, and more sequels can be expected.
Written By Dale Davidson