B.O. Roundup, March 21-23: 'Divergent' is Dauntless, 'Muppets' Less Wanted

Sunday, 23 March 2014 13:25 Written by  iamrogue
Rate this item
(0 votes)
B.O. Roundup, March 21-23: 'Divergent' is Dauntless, 'Muppets' Less Wanted

A year from now, we'll be talking about the debut of Insurgent, because the much-hyped Divergent just opened strong enough in North America to suggest that Lionsgate's long-term sequel plans stay in place.

While the YA adaptation starring Shailene Woodley had the second-strongest debut weekend of the year so far, Muppets Most Wanted opened to smaller numbers.  And once again, a film aimed right at a Christian audience posted strong numbers, as God's Not Dead opened strong.

Over the last few years, many an adaptation of a young adult bestseller has stumbled where The Hunger Games and Twilight soared.  Divergent, based on the novel by Veronica Roth, was very much positioned as the heir to The Hunger Games.  The franchise-starter from director Neil Burger opened strong, grossing an estimated $56.0 million from 3,936 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

That's nowhere near the phenomenal $152 debut of Katniss Everdeen's inaugural adventure two years ago, but it's more than the combined totals of would-be franchises The Host, Beautiful Creatures, and Vampire Academy.

It's also enough to ensure that the planned sequel, Insurgent, will start production as planned for a release date in March 2015, followed (if all goes according to plan) by Allegiant in March of 2016.

In second place, there's Muppets Most Wanted, Disney's follow-up to the successful 2011 rejuventation of Jim Henson's durable, lovable creations The Muppets.  Where that one opened to $29.2 million in its debut, though, the sequel dropped to an estimated $16.5 million from 3,194 theaters.

The new film, directed again by James Bobin, was expected to open with $20 million or more.  As such, its actual numbers have to be a bit of disappointment, but audience exit polls were strong.  Without much competition for the family dollar over the next several weeks, Muppets Most Wanted ought to hold pretty well domestically, and can expect a significant boost from international audiences.

God's Not Dead, which concerns a Christian college student's relationship with an atheist professor, opened in just 780 locations, yet grossed an estimated $8.5 million.  That puts it in fifth place, between 300: Rise of an Empire and Need for Speed.  The film, which features roles for two Duck Dynasty stars and Christian musical act Newsboys, was aided by word of mouth from screenings for 8,000 pastors nationwide.  It expands to 1,000 additional theaters next weekend.

Speaking of which, Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel jumped from a handful of theaters to 304 locations, and in the process snagged seventh place, earning $6.7 million, according to estimates.

Here are the top ten movies in North America for the weekend of March 21st though 23rd:

1. Divergent...............................................$56.0 million..............New Release

2. Muppets Most Wanted..........................$16.5 million..............New Release

3. Mr. Peabody & Sherman.......................$11.7 million..............$81.0 million

4. 300: Rise of an Empire..........................$8.6 million...............$93.7 million

5. God's Not Dead......................................$8.5 million...............New Release

6. Need for Speed......................................$7.7 million...............$30.4 million

7. The Grand Budapest Hotel....................$6.7 million...............$12.9 million

8. Non-Stop................................................$6.3 million...............$78.6 million

9. The Lego Movie......................................$4.1 million...............$243.3 million

10. The Single Moms Club..........................$3.1 million...............$12.9 million

Next week, Noah, Sabotage, and Cesar Chavez join the fray.  Will any of these be able to unseat Divergent?


More in this category

Follow ROGUE

Latest Trailers

view more »