The second film installment of the dystopian, science fiction book series Divergent topped the box office this weekend with a solid $54 Million in ticket sales reported from nearly 4,000 cinemas. While Insurgent topped the box office, the hyped up geopolitical thriller starring Sean Penn, Gunman, flopped with a disappointing $5 million in ticket sales.
While Insurgent did have an impressive showing for opening weekend, it was seen as disappointing by many industry analysts. It merely only matched the opening weekend ticket sales for the adaptation of the first installment of the series, Divergent. Many were expecting an increase in opening weekend gains as was seen in the past with the second film installments of The Hunger Games and Twilight movie series, respectively. Still, with a domestic gross of $54 million and an international gross of $47 million, making for a grand total of $101 million, Insurgent is already well on the way to recouping the $110 million it cost to produce the film.
Penn did not have the same type of luck. As Insurgent surged to top of the box office charts, The Gunman fell flat with only $5 million in domestic earnings, and not even one million in international earnings; already a box office flop when compared to the $40 million in production costs. With Gunman debuting at number four, in second place is Cinderella, with $34.5 million in earnings, making for a total domestic gross of $122 million. Run All Night, starring Liam Neeson, occupied third place with only a slight edge over The Gunman at $5.1 million. This is another film that has also been widely considered a flop.
According to analysts, The Gunman is the latest in a trend of male-dominated action films which have flopped. As stated above, Run All Night has also had disappointing box office returns, as well as the Hugh Jackman led movie Chappie. Kingsman: The Secret Service has proven to be an exception to the trend, still going strong after six weeks of being in theaters. It currently occupies fifth place with a weekend gross of $4.6 million, adding on to the total domestic gross of nearly $115 million.
In spite of the success, Insurgent was not met with the best reviews. It scored a tough 32 percent “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critical consensus being that the film was a “muddled mess.” It did fare much better with critics than The Gunman however, the latter scoring only 14 percent with critics. The audience consensus of Insurgent, was also much higher, with the website for Rotten Tomatoes noting a 70 percent approval rating among audiences.
Despite the tough reviews and failing to surpass the previous installment, Insurgent has managed to soar at the top of the box office while the main competitor over the weekend, The Gunman, became an instant flop. There is growing speculation that spending in the entertainment industry has become more female-driven, explaining why a female-led action film is doing better than a male-led one. Some are also saying the reason Gunman flopped was because of top competition from other male-led, R-rated action films currently showing at the box office right. Regardless, Insurgent, has made an impact while keeping interest in the Divergent series afloat.
By Philip Cunningham
Photo by: vagueonthehow – Flickr License