You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: ‘Insurgent’ Aims to Beat ‘Divergent’ Debut

Lionsgate is hoping that Shailene Woodley’s higher profile and the continued popularity of Veronica Roth’s books will bolster revenues for “Insurgent,” the sequel to last spring’s futuristic adventure “Divergent.”

Pre-release tracking suggests that the Lionsgate release will enjoy a modest bump over the $54.6 million debut of its predecessor, with most analysts projecting “Insurgent” will kick off with between $57 million and $60 million when it unspools Friday across 3,875 screens.

Call it the “Fault in Our Stars” effect. When “Divergent” premiered in 2014, Woodley was a relative neophyte whose biggest previous role had been a well-received supporting part in 2011’s “The Descendants” and her work as a teen mother on ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”

Now she’s one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, her name mentioned alongside the likes of Kristen Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence. That’s largely due to the way that “Fault in Our Stars” became a breakout summer hit and a “Love Story” for the YouTube generation.

“Her stock is a bit higher than it was when she starred in the first movie,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “That fanbase is going to lead to a bit of a boost.”

Sadly for “Fault” fans, although Woodley’s co-star Ansel Elgort appears in “Insurgent,” he leaves the romancing to Theo James. (He plays the older brother of Woodley’s character in the action franchise.)

The film’s higher profile is evident on Facebook, where the “Divergent” series has added around 3.6 million likes since the first film debuted. It now has 4.7 million likes.

“The marketing has been really aggressive, and I think that’s connecting,” Contrino said. “There’s been a widening of the base.”

Produced for $110 million, “Insurgent” is also $25 million more expensive than the first film. It does, however, have the benefit of a release in 3D, a format the previous chapter opted not to embrace, in addition to an Imax run, so it could get a lift from ticket premiums.

The picture’s success or failure won’t be measured solely on how domestic audiences respond. It will be determined by foreign moviegoers. Roughly 47% of “Divergent’s” $288.7 million in receipts came from overseas, but analysts expect that number will improve given that Roth’s books have grown more popular abroad over the past year. The film will roll out in 74 international markets this week, including Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Singapore and Mexico.

“The international results are going to be much higher because the franchise is now much better known,” said Tuna Amobi of Standard and Poors. “In some respects, ‘Divergent’ underperformed internationally.”

“Insurgent’s” biggest competition will come from the second weekend of “Cinderella,” which should fall about 50% from its $67.9 million debut to end the weekend with roughly $32 million.

The weekend also brings “The Gunman,” but the R-rated thriller with Sean Penn as a highly trained killer on the run is having trouble muscling in on the action. It is expected to generate $8 million when it premieres on 2,816 screens. Open Road is distributing the film in the U.S., while StudioCanal financed the picture and retains rights to many foreign territories.

That leaves the faith-based film “Do You Believe?” as the weekend’s other new release, to try to benefit from being a shrewd counterprogramming option. It premieres in roughly 1,200 theaters and is backed by Pure Flix. The film is a clear Easter play and is pointedly debuting on the same weekend that “God’s Not Dead” bowed last year — that low-budget religious film stunned box office watchers when it made nearly $10 million in its initial weekend. Look for “Do You Believe?” to pull in roughly $5 million when it hits theaters.

More Film

  • Jimmie Fails Signs With CAA

    'Last Black Man in San Francisco' Star Jimmie Fails Signs With CAA

    Jimmie Fails, co-writer and star of “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” has signed with CAA for representation. The drama, inspired by Fails’ own life, had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. In his review for Variety, chief film critic Peter Debruge described the film as “a gorgeous and touchingly idealistic [...]

  • Stuck

    Film Review: 'Stuck'

    A stalled New York City subway carriage serves as a toe-tapping musical Petri dish for six socioeconomically diverse souls in the unique stage-to-screen musical adaptation “Stuck.” Sharing a stylistic template with its 2016 left-coast cousin “La La Land” (which it predated Off-Broadway by a good four years), the film’s 2017 copyright suggests a missed opportunity [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Why Airbnb Produced Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South,' Its First-Ever Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    The latest player to hit the film-festival circuit may be a bit unexpected: Airbnb, the travel-accommodations booking marketplace, developed, financed and produced documentary film “Gay Chorus Deep South,” set to premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on April 29. It’s the company’s very first feature film. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, “Gay Chorus Deep [...]

  • Clint Eastwood May Direct 'The Ballad

    Clint Eastwood May Direct 'The Ballad of Richard Jewell'

    Clint Eastwood may direct “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” a look at a security guard whose life gets turned upside down after media reports identified him as a possible suspect in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing. The film is currently set up at Disney/Fox and could reunite Eastwood with Alan Horn, the current Disney Studios [...]

  • Hagazussa: A Heathen's Curse

    Film Review: 'Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse'

    If “The Witch” had been directed by the early-career Werner Herzog of “Aguirre,” “Heart of Glass,” and “Even Dwarfs Started Small,” the result might have been something in the spirit of “Hagazussa,” Lukas Feigelfeld’s wholly arresting feature debut. Given the extended U.S. title “A Heathen’s Curse” to underline saleable supernatural elements, this enigmatic folktale-cum-horror is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content