VARIETY – After dominating the Friday B.O. with $22.8 million, the sci-fi adventure is on track for a $55 million Stateside weekend opening — the second-largest of the year behind “The Lego Movie’s” $69 million launch.
Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” trails far behind with a $4.7 million Friday bow. It will likely place second this weekend with an estimated $17 million opening. But the biggest shocker is Freestyle Releasing’s “God’s Not Dead,” which nabbed third place on Friday with $2.8 million and looks to sneak into this weekend’s top five.
“Muppets” came in far below estimates because of competition from another family-friendly pic, last weekend’s runner-up “Mr. Peabody and Sherman.” The movie, starring Tina Fey and Ty Burrell, will also fall short against its predecessor — “The Muppets” premiered to $29 million over Thanksgiving weekend in 2011. The musical grossed almost $89 million domestically and $165 million worldwide.
Lionsgate-Summit’s latest YA adaptation probably won’t meet recent projections of a $60 million-plus opening, but the studio will still have another hit on its hands. “Divergent,” which earned $4.9 million on Thursday night, pales in comparison to the first “Twilight” film, which made almost $70 million during Thanksgiving weekend of 2008, or the first “Hunger Games” movie, which grossed $152 million during this same weekend in 2012. The two franchises have hauled in a collective $5 billion globally so far.
Like its YA kin, the sci-fier’s sequels could perform better at the B.O. The second installment, “Insurgent,” is set to begin production in May. “Insurgent” and “Allegiant” will hit theaters in March of 2015 and 2016, respectively.
The Shailene Woodley-starrer — based on Veronica Roth’s best-selling series — reportedly cost $85 million to produce and is currently playing in 3,936 locations. Although targeted primarily to teens, about half of theater-goers were over 25. Around 59% were female and 41% male, indicating a broader scope than expected.
VARIETY – Lionsgate has declared its second-ever cash dividend of 5 cents per common share four days ahead of its release of franchise starter Divergent.
The studio announced the payout would take place May 30 for shareholders of record on March 31.
The board declared the company’s first quarterly cash dividend, also for five cents per common share, in December with a February 7 payout.
Wall Street analysts have estimated Divergent will take in a cumulative $150 million in its domestic release. Lionsgate execs have touted the dystopian drama, starring Shailene Woodley, as the latest example of its leadership in adaptations of young-adult bestsellers following Twilight and The Hunger Games.
Lionsgate made the announcement before the stock market opened. The stock was down $1.37 to $30.61 in mid-session trading.
Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, I’ve added a handful of brand new stills from Divergent to the gallery. Be sure to check them out!
I have added some screen captures from the teaser trailer for Divergent, which premiered at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards. Doesn’t it look incredible? March just cannot come around quickly enough!
MTV – Shailene Woodley and Theo James did use talented stunt doubles for some scenes in their new movie, “Divergent,” an adaptation of a YA novel set in dystopian future Chicago, but in a lot of the action sequences were filmed by the actors themselves. That’s thanks in part to the realistic approach director Neil Burger took to the movie.
“I can say as a director that both of these guys brought such strength to the action. There’s a lot of fighting in the movie,” Burger told MTV News at San Diego Comic-Con. In the Chicago of “Divergent,” society is divided into five factions based on personality traits like intelligence and honesty. Woodley’s Tris is a teenage girl who transfers from her home faction of Abnegation (selfless) to Dauntless (fearless). James plays her Dauntless mentor (turned-love interest), which means the two of them spent plenty of time training and fighting together.