Coming into this weekend, predictions ranged pretty wildly for Divergent. I saw some people saying it would open in the $50 million range while others thought it could go as high as $80 million. Many predictions pegged it around the debut of the first Twilight, which opened to $69 million in 2008. In the end, Divergent fell short of that number, but still posted a respectable debut.
It seems like adaptations of young adult novels are either mega-blockbusters (Twilight, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter) or outright flops (The Mortal Instruments, Beautiful Creatures, The Host) with a decent, mid-level success thrown in now and then (the first Percy Jackson). What’s interesting about Divergent is actually managed to bridge that gap a bit. Its debut of $56 million is impressive, especially considering less than optimal reviews. As potential franchise-starters go, this is a good debut. Still, I expect this weekend probably saw a big rush out from fans and the stamina will be poor, so Divergent will probably end up around $125 million.
Opening to a disappointing $16.5 million, Muppets Most Wanted might just be a victim of too many successful kids movies as of late. That’s down quite a bit from its predecessor’s debut, and it’s way off Mr. Peabody and Sherman from a few weeks ago. So Mr. Peabody and Sherman are seriously more popular than the Muppets now? Interesting. MMW might end up with as little as $50 million. Speaking of MP&S, it dropped 46% and grossed $11.7 million to lift its total to $81 million.
300: Rise of an Empire continued to fall hard, this time dropping 55%. It pulled in $8.7 million to bring its total to $93.8 million. Amazingly breaking into the top five, God’s Not Dead managed $8.6 million from just 780 theatres. I watched the trailer for this film and it looks unbelievably awful. Listen, if you want to get your faith out there, that’s all well and good; just make sure your movie doesn’t suck. Don’t have a cartoonishly over the top strawman character who exists for the sole purpose of building up the protagonist and giving atheists a bad name. And….that’s my rant.
Need for Speed decelerated 56% and grossed $7.8 million to put its total at $30.4 million. Expanding again, The Grand Budapest Hotel increased 86% and grossed $6.8 million. The total stands at $13 million. Falling 40%, Non-Stop pulled in $6.3 million, bringing the sum to $78.6 million. . For all its early legs, the decline of The Lego Movie has been relatively swift. It dropped 47% to $4.1 million, lifting its total gross to $243.4 million.
Finally, we end the top ten with The Single Mom’s Club. This collapsed 62%, grossed $3.1 million and has amassed just $12.9 million so far. Overall, this was a decent weekend. Divergent was big but not huge and Muppets Most Wanted underwhelmed. Next weekend brings an end to March with Sabotage, which will be lucky to crack $12 million, and Noah, a film that’s shooting for much higher heights. Until we meet again.