Divergent Wins the Weekend with $56M
Lionsgate Entertainment’s Divergent debuted in first place last weekend with $54.61 million. The highly anticipated young adult adaptation starring Shailene Woodley performed in line with expectations which fell anywhere from $50 million to $70 million heading into the weekend. The film generated the second largest opening weekend this year so far behind only the $69.05 million start of The Lego Movie. The film’s very solid start is a good sign for its two already announced sequels, Insurgent set for March 20, 2015, and Allegiant set for March 18, 2016. Divergent grossed $4.8 million from 348 IMAX locations last weekend. That represented 8.8 percent of the film’s total gross last weekend.
Walt Disney Pictures’ Muppets Most Wanted debuted in a distant second place with an underwhelming start of $17.01 million. The latest Muppets film opened below expectations and 42 percent below the $29.24 million opening weekend take of 2011’s The Muppets, a figure which was deflated from that film opening on a Wednesday. Muppets Most Wanted was unable to create the same level of pre-release excitement that The Muppets did and was also hurt by arriving so soon after fellow family films The Lego Movie and Mr. Peabody & Sherman. The appeal of Divergent also didn’t help matters for Muppets Most Wanted last weekend.
The weekend’s other new major release, God’s Not Dead, debuted surprisingly strong in fourth place with $9.24 million. The faith-based drama from Freestyle and Pure Flix delivered the largest opening weekend ever for Freestyle (the distributor’s previous high-mark was the $5.78 million start of 2006’s An American Haunting). Along with the recent stronger than expected start of 20th Century Fox’s Son of God, the strong start of God’s Not Dead appears to be signaling a resurgence at the box office for faith-based films. That could be good news for Paramount Pictures’ Noah, which opens this coming Friday, and Sony Pictures’ Heaven Is For Real, which debuts on Apr. 16.
The previous weekend’s top film, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, fell two spots and a significant 46 percent to third place with $11.83 million. After a strong hold opening weekend, the 3D computer animated film from 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation clearly took a hit from the arrival of both Divergent and Muppets Most Wanted in the marketplace last weekend. Mr. Peabody & Sherman surpassed the $80 million mark on Sunday and has grossed a respectable $81.13 million through 17 days of release.
Warner Bros. Pictures’ 300: Rise of an Empire and Disney’s Need for Speed claimed fifth and sixth place respectively with weekend takes of $8.50 million and $7.94 million. 300: Rise of an Empire slid 56 percent from the previous weekend, while Need for Speed was down 55 percent. As was the case with many of the major holdovers last weekend, both action films likely took an extra hit from the stronger than anticipated appeal of Divergent with male moviegoers. To date, 300: Rise of an Empire has grossed $93.59 million in 17 days, while Need for Speed has grossed a lackluster $30.57 million in 10 days.
|This Week||Last Week||Movie||Weekend Gross||Cumulative Gross||Weeks|
|2||N/A||Muppets Most Wanted||$17.00M||$17.00M||1|
|3||1||Mr. Peabody & Sherman||$11.83M||$81.13M||3|
|4||N/A||God’s Not Dead||$9.24M||$9.24M||1|
|5||2||300: Rise of an Empire||$8.50M||$93.59M||3|
|6||3||Need For Speed||$7.94M||$30.57M||2|
|8||6||The Lego Movie||$4.15M||$243.39M||6|
|9||5||Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club||$3.10M||$12.91M||2|
|10||7||Son of God||$2.72M||$55.67M||4|
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.