“Insurgent” is diverging from the most recent estimates that had pegged it to take about $45 million in its opening weekend.
“The Divergent Series: Insurgent” is still trailing the first installment, last year’s “Divergent,” but is closing the gap as it looks to be headed for an opening weekend of $50 million-plus.
However, the film is short of initial estimates of nearly $60 million. “Insurgent” is also annihilating this weekend’s other major new entry, Sean Penn’s “The Gunman.”
“Insurgent” made $21.3 million on Friday at the U.S. box office — just $1.5 million shy of the Friday numbers delivered by “Divergent” this weekend last year, when the film opened to No. 1 with $54.6 million. It went on to haul in $151 million at the domestic box office ($288.7 million worldwide).
The movie is sure to do strong business overseas, considering Shailene Woodley’s rising star power and the popularity of Veronica Roth’s bestselling young-adult trilogy. The pic had grossed an estimated $18.3 million internationally through Friday, with France ($2.5 million), the U.K. ($1.6 million), Brazil ($1.5 million), and Australia ($1.3 million) comprising the top markets.
“Insurgent” is playing on over 9,500 screens in 76 markets — the widest international rollout of the year. It’s the top movie in 72 of the markets where it debuted this weekend.
Unlike “Divergent,” “Insurgent” is also being released in 3D and Imax. The film was produced for $110 million — $25 million more than the first, which was less VFX-heavy.
The dystopian pic follows Woodley’s character Tris and Theo James’ Four, who are on the run from the Erudites and in search of allies in the post-apocalyptic ruins of Chicago.
Miles Teller and Kate Winslet return, while Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer join the franchise. Two more films will debut in the same March slot in 2016 and 2017.
Disney’s “Cinderella” was runner-up, bringing in $9.5 million on Friday. It’s headed for just under $35 million in its second weekend — down 49% from its magical $67.9 million debut – raising its cume to $122 million.
Open Road’s “The Gunman” fell short of its already modest expectations, launching to $1.8 million on Friday. The action thriller is shooting for $5 million this weekend in a close race with Fox’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” which continues to impress in its sixth weekend in theaters.
Penn stars as an ex-Special Forces soldier with PTSD who’s forced to take on one final mission to clear his name. Idris Elba, Javier Bardem and Jasmine Trinca round out the cast.
“Kingsman” earned $1.3 million on Friday as it heads for just south of $5 million this weekend — raising its total haul to $115 million.
Penn’s fellow aging action hero Liam Neeson’s “Run All Night” reeled in $1.4 million on Friday for a third place finish ahead of “Gunman” and “Kingsman.” It will likely fall to fifth by Sunday with $4.5 million.
Pure Flix’s faith-based feature “Do You Believe?” launched to sixth place with $1.3 million on Friday en route for $4.8 million.