360° Coverage : Box Office Milestone: 'Divergent' Crosses $100M

2 Updates
Box Office Milestone: 'Divergent' Crosses $100M
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Box Office Milestone: 'Divergent' Crosses $100M

Apr 4 2014, 4:18pm CDT | by

On its fourteenth day of domestic release, Divergent has officially crossed $100 million at the domestic box office. The Lionsgate release, starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, debuted two...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

21 weeks ago

Box Office Milestone: 'Divergent' Crosses $100M

Apr 4 2014, 4:18pm CDT | by

On its fourteenth day of domestic release, Divergent has officially crossed $100 million at the domestic box office. The Lionsgate release, starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, debuted two weekends ago with a $54 million debut weekend, and it should hit over/under $115 million by the end of this weekend. Once it passes Lemony Snicket and a Series of Unfortunate Events ($118m domestic, but at a cost of $140m), it will basically be the biggest-grossing “young adult fantasy literature” adaptation outside of the first two Chronicles of Narnia adaptations (although Prince Caspian‘s $142m total is still within reach) and the proverbial Holy Trinity of the genre, the Harry Potter series, the Twilight Saga, and the Hunger Games franchise.

This in itself isn’t perhaps all-that-much of an achievement. A well-marketed franchise starter scoring a huge debut weekend based partially on the rabid fan base is almost commonplace enough to be boring at this point. But aside from the obvious “Yay, another female-centric hit franchise!” note of celebration, it is frankly more impressive when you consider how many failed franchises of this nature we’ve seen over the last thirteen years. Since the debut of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, we’ve had a bevy of would-be kid-skewing fantasy franchises, good and bad, that didn’t quite catch on or outright bombed.

In the wake of the Boy Who Lived we’ve had Eragon ($75m), The Seeker: The Dark is Rising ($8.7m), The Golden Compass ($70m), The Spiderwick Chronicles ($71m), Inkheart ($17m), Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant ($13m), I Am Number Four ($51m), Beautiful Creatures ($19m), The Host ($26m), The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones ($31m), Ender’s Game ($61m), and Vampire Academy ($7m). The trail of doomed franchises is as long as the trail of  corpses that Voldemort piled up in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The Boy Who Lived was followed by a wave of franchises that died.

I may have missed a couple, and a few of them (Eragon, The Golden Compass) did better overseas. By the way, Divergent hasn’t dropped overseas yet and Lionsgate sold off most of the foreign rights anyway, which is why the above list is strictly domestic. But save for Percy Jackson ($95m) and (so they claim) The Mortal Instruments, not a one got a sequel. In the reemergence in kid-friendly fantasy that followed in the wake of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (which I nonetheless consider a different beast), only The Chronicles of Narnia (which arguably would have hit it big  at first regardless of its predecessors), Twilight, and The Hunger Games qualified as successful franchises. And now, for the moment, you can add Divergent to that surprisingly slim list.

I say “for the moment” because we don’t yet know if the box office strength for Divergent will extend to its sequel. While I was (happily) wrong about The Hunger Games hitting its domestic ceiling the first time out, the sequel benefited from the first film’s strong reviews and media popularity. Will the free publicity that greeted Divergent as the proverbial “next Hunger Games” still be there for Insurgent in 2015, even with the current relative indifference that greeted the initial installment from the critical community?  The choice of director Robert Schwentke to helm the sequel  doesn’t exactly scream excitement (“From the director of R.I.P.D.!”), but I’d wager that the majority of fans haven’t exactly devoured the filmography of Neil Burger either (and if they did, hopefully they skipped Limitless and merely double-billed The Illusionist and The Lucky Ones).

I’d currently wager that quite a bit of the mainstream excitement for Insurgent will depend on the reception (financially and critically) of The Fault In Our Stars this June. Just as Jennifer Lawrence became the Internet’s favorite movie star after following The Hunger Games with an Oscar-winning turn in The Silver Linings Playbook, the media’s current (justified) adoration of Shailene Woodley may well continue if the 20th Century Fox teen cancer romance hits it big this summer. If Lionsgate is reading this, I’d seriously recommend slipping Fox a few $50s in order to help them fund a Best Actress Oscar campaign for Woodley which would conveniently lead right into the release of Insurgent. Success breeds success, or at least positive and pervasive media coverage.

But for now, even if the Divergent franchise has hit its ceiling with wherever it ends up in the end of its box office run (and that’s not a foregone conclusion), it’s still a much higher ceiling than nearly all of its ilk. That it is doing so well despite (all due respect) being more of a knock-off of the previous fantasy hits as opposed to a wholly different beast (Twilight had little to do with Harry Potter and Hunger Games had little to share with Twilight). That arguably is what gives up to the various other dystopian future young-adult fantasies waiting in the wings.  But considering TwilightHunger Games, and Divergent all came from the Lionsgate/Summit distribution wing, it will be interesting to see if anyone else can have much luck with the specific sub-genre. Not that the House That Jigsaw Built is faultless either, as Ender’s Game can attest.

But for now Divergent has succeeded where so many before it have failed. It is a solid hit and a genuine franchise starter. Kudos to all involved and good luck with the sequel. Come what may, you may (or may not) need it.

 
Update
2

3 days ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

4 days ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17 ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Nigeria to get Japanese drug for Ebola treatment
Abuja, Sep 2 (IANS) Nigeria will soon get a Japanese drug to treat Ebola, the country's Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said Monday.
 
 
Japan to aid connectivity upgrade in northeast India
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) India and Japan Monday decided to strengthen cooperation for improving connectivity and socio-economic development in northeastern states of India.
 
 
Three Ebola cases recorded in Nigeria oil hub
Abuja, Sep 1 (IANS) At least three cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been recorded in Nigeria's oil hub of Port Harcourt, where a fatality was confirmed last week, the country's Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu said here Monday.
 
 
India, Japan to elevate strategic partnership
Tokyo, Sep 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said relations with Japan were of the "highest priority" for his government and announced a slew of initiatives, including turning the strategic partnership into a "special" partnership and a fast-track channel for Japanese investors.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Modi focuses on women's empowerment, education
Tokyo, Sep 2 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday stressed on the need for women's empowerment in the present-day world as he began the fourth day of his visit to Japan. Modi, who was addressing students of the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
George Clooney's back pain continues
Los Angeles, Sep 2 (IANS) Almost 10 years after filming the Oscar-nominated movie "Syriana", actor George Clooney is still feeling the effects of his on-set back injury. The actor traveled to Duke University earlier...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Carrie Underwood is pregnant
Carrie Underwood is pregnant. The former 'American Idol' winner, 31, and husband Mike Fisher announced on Twitter tonight (09.01.14) that they're expecting their first child together. The blonde beauty posted a...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
50 Cent buys son miniature car
50 Cent bought his son a miniature car for his birthday. The 39-year-old rapper - whose real name is Curtis James Jackson - surprised Sire with a little Mercedes ML450 SUV, a smaller representation of his own vehicle,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kirsten Dunst criticises Apple for leaked photos
Kirsten Dunst has hit out at Apple after naked photographs of her were allegedly leaked online. The 32-year-old actress took to her Twitter account last night (09.01.14) to criticize the American multinational...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Daisy Lowe feels 'rubbish' without exercise
Daisy Lowe feels ''rubbish'' if she doesn't exercise at least three times a week. The 25-year-old model admits she maintains her enviable figure by working out on a regular basis, but she still enjoys tucking in to...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Paul Smith collaborates with Led Zeppelin
London, Sep 2 (IANS) British fashion designer Paul Smith has collaborated with legendary rock band Led Zeppelin for his latest scarf collection. The London-based designer has teamed-up with the band to create the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
US continues air strikes against IS in Iraq
Washington, Sep 2 (IANS) US forces continued their attack on Islamic State (IS) militants in northern Iraq with three more air strikes conducted Monday, the army said. The strikes destroyed three IS trucks and...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
13 killed in Baghdad bomb blasts
Baghdad, Sep 2 (IANS) As many as 13 people have been killed in two explosions in Iraq's capital Baghdad Monday, a police source said. Thirteen people were killed and 45 others injured when two car bombs exploded in...
Read more on Politics Balla