Box Office: ‘Divergent’ Might Not Hit $60 Million-Plus Launch


Lionsgate’s “Divergent” looks to be coming in at the lower end of some forecasts, with early returns indicating the teen-skewing sci-fier may not match recent projections of a $60 million-plus domestic opening.

One estimate predicted “Divergent” would take $22.5 million at 3,936 locations on Friday — including $4.9 million from late shows Thursday — and wind up in the $50 million to $53 million range by the end of the weekend.

That number still means the sci-fi adventure will dominate the weekend box office, as predicted, amid massive support from the core fanbase of young women, though it’s harder to predict how well it is attracting other filmgoers. Reviews have been unimpressive with a 42% “fresh” rating on the Rotten Tomatoes aggregation site.

Friday forecasts also showed a substantial skid for Disney’s family-friendly “Muppets Most Wanted,” with tracking declining from $25 million to $20 million. Friday’s estimate for “Muppets” came in around $5.5 million.

The projected Stateside start for “Divergent” is the second largest of 2014, trailing only “The Lego Movie.” The cast, led by Shailene Woodley, has been active in promoting the dystopian drama and the second film going into production in May.

But the opening “Divergent” number pales compared with two other key openings for franchise launches — Summit’s first “Twilight” film with $69 million in November, 2008, and “The Hunger Games” with $152 million during this same mid-March weekend in 2012.

Investors sold shares of Lionsgate stock Friday as it slid 7.85%, losing $2.35 to close at $27.60 — the lowest close since last July. It’s lost 25% of its value since early November and Lionsgate execs have been seeking to temper Wall Street’s predictions for “Divergent” in recent months.

“Muppets Most Wanted” will fall well short of the opening weekend of 2011’s  “The Muppets,” which launched with $29 million over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Fox’s third weekend of “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” looked likely to lead the rest of the pack with $2.9 million on Friday for a total in the $11 million to $12 million range, lifting the DreamWorks toon cume past $80 million.

Freestyle Releasing’s faith-based film “God’s Not Dead” performed respectably on its first day with $2.7 million on Friday at 780 locations for a projected weekend of around $8.2 million.

Warner’s third weekend of “300: Rise of an Empire” should also finish in the same vicinity and win up the frame with a domestic cume in the $93 million range.

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  1. Jennifer says:

    Don’t understand what people’s problems are. I am a hardcore fan of the book having read it when it first came out. I loved the movie, they kept to the integrity of the book. Yes, it strayed a little from the story in the book but what book to movie doesn’t? It’s a movie, they have to move the story along fast in a way that makes sense. Hopefully, the numbers will be higher next week especially considering that this week was spring break for a lot of people so there were plenty of people out of town. Who goes to the movies when they are on vacation? Anyway the movie was amazing and I can’t wait to see Insurgent.

    • Maria says:

      This is the exact same weekend that The Hunger Games opened two years ago. Spring break didn’t stop $152 million worth of people from seeing that one.

    • Mike says:

      Well, you could hope, but Noah opens next weekend, while it might not upsurp it as the number one movie, faith-based movie do really well, especially considering it’s lent. Variety even has article saying it’s tracking on par with Gravity. Fans of the movie might finally go see it during their spring break, but reality is, the movie is not attracting movie-goers outside the fanbase, which what it needs to see better numbers. The week after that, Capt America 2 opens, and it’s game over then.

  2. Christy says:

    Well no wonder, they butchered the book….the first half was great and then by the end I barely even recognized it as the same story.

  3. Meredith says:

    How? This was the best movie I’ve ever seen and I almost cried because it ended. People just assume it’s like the Hunger Game and Twilight so they don’t waste there money or whatever. BUT IT’S NOT. IT’S COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. People just be assuming stuff they don’t even know. I hate it when that happens. I agree with Lauren completely.

  4. Lauren says:

    1) Stop comparing movies! Of course it isn’t like Twilight, or the Hunger Games, or whatever. And, to be honest, that’s a GOOD thing! I liked both the movie and the books, and in my opinion, the movie was great, maybe even better than that. End of story.
    2) You Hollywood box-office types should really stop trying to correlate the quality of the movie in question, to the number of arses in the theatre seats. Or, did you forget that about 90% of families’ combined ticket prices come to more than $50 for an average family of 4+, and that it’s much easier for them to wait till the DVD comes out, and to watch it at home? And that box-office total did not rest on the shoulders of the ‘core fan-base of young women,’ either. My theatre last night had about 25 males in it, and the majority of the younger males had no significant other accompanying them, which means they chose to attend the movie on their own rather than to be dragged there by their girlfriends/young wives/fiancees/etc. And, when my showing was over, an additional 15-20 were about to see the showing following mine. Obviously, it’s not appealing to just women whose sole drive in life is to attend bi-weekly book clubs. -__-

    • Kara says:

      Very true. I loved the book, and my family really wants to see the movie, but because of ticket costs will have to wait until it is on DVD. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie, we just need to spend our money on more important things than movies right now.

  5. Divergent movie can cross $55 Million (approx.) till opening weekend. As its 1st Day Box office Report is quite awesome. Looking so, it can prove to be great hit on Blockbuster.

    • dell says:

      But it’s unlikely that they’ll do another 55m by next weekend, if they even make that amount this weekend. It’s okay sales for a march opening, but it’s no blockbuster, I think that’s out of the question now.

  6. Dino says:

    50 million is a good number for this film.Who cares about reckless projections.The following week will determine if it will be a hit.

  7. K says:

    42% on Rotten Tomatoes is not Fresh. It is, in fact, considered Rotten.

  8. Maria says:

    It’s a shame that an opening weekend around $50M is going to be filed away as a “disappointment” just because they were making unrealistically high predictions. I’m really not sure why people thought it was going to match or exceed Twilight’s OW. Because Fandango said Divergent’s first-day sales were outpacing Twilight’s first-day sales? And I suppose the number of people who use Fandango today are the same number of people who used it six years ago. Of course Fandango sold more first-day tickets to Divergent than they did for Twilight – they sell more tickets to everything than they did in 2008. Because Fandango reports that Divergent made up 80% of their ticket sales for this weekend? All that tells me is that Divergent is extremely popular among people who buy tickets on Fandango. What percentage does this represent of the tickets sold everywhere else? No one ever bothered to find that out. And so we have unrealistic expectations based on misleading information.

  9. geri031706 says:

    “Young women” are the core fan base of this movie??? Don’t you mean preteen girls? Those are completely different groups. The “Hunger Games” did well right out of the box because not only had the kids read/loved the books, but so had millions of adults. Not so with this franchise.

  10. citizentm says:

    Certain agents build up some young actresses and overlooking others, without ANY understanding what is required to lead big movies. Judging from the trailers and sequences from Divergent Woodley has the intoxicating power of camomille tea, to be kind. The indie movie she was in this year was dreadful. Alexander Payne can make anyone give a good performance, but aside from The Descendants Woodley has shown NO TALENT whatsoever.
    Producers, don’t be fooled and use your own eyes when looking for talent, instead of following the agenda of these ‘agents’.

  11. citizentm says:

    Hopefully this will put an end to the fantasy that Shailene Woodley is anything but a supporting bit player of questionable talent and screen presence.

  12. F S N says:

    Reblogged this on The Now.

  13. DougW says:

    Were you expecting over $60M? All the projections I read predicted between 50-60, which it looks like it will do. And really, box office stories should be about how a film does, not how it does compared with “expectations.” It’s like writing about football and not caring who won or lost, but how close was Vegas at predicting the spread.

    • MJ says:

      they were predicting as high as 70 to 80M at one point, even above 80. but then the reviews started pouring in, and the marketing of this movie sucked leading up to the movie, if you pay attention to the social media blogs.

  14. johntshea says:

    Will VARIETY’s obsession with opening weekends ever end? We’ll know how well this movie really did overall by about the end of the year and no sooner.

  15. Robbie Goldstein says:

    Hyped to the hilt Just really lacks the tone of a let’s hope and deliver blockbuster. Back to the well for Lions gate, but the well is as dry as the California drought. And now they are ready for a sequel. Let’s regroup and “Forget about it.” I want all movies to be great and be successful, except for the new Purge Movie. Those people should be locked up.

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