‘Divergent’ Tracking for Franchise-Launching $50 Million-Plus Box-Office Opening

'Divergent' Tracking for Franchise-Launching $50 Million-Plus Box-Office Opening

That's good news for Lionsgate and Summit, who hope they have another “Twilight” or “Hunger Games” on their hands

Things are coming together nicely for “Divergent.”

Early tracking came online Thursday for the young adult sci-fi adventure that Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment are banking on becoming a franchise, and it looks on course to open with north of $50 million.

That’s a strong number, particularly since the sci-fi adventure, based on Veronica Roth’s bestselling novels and starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, won't open until March 21. It has time to build.

Also read: Hollywood Take Note: Lionsgate's ‘Divergent’ Could be a Cost-Effective Blockbuster

And it’s solid enough to withstand comparisons with “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games,” two other book-based young adult films that turned into lucrative franchises. The studio has already scheduled sequels in March of 2015 and 2016 for “Divergent.”

The anticipation over “Divergent,” directed by Neil Burger, has been heightened by the success of those films and the failure of a string of recent book-based, teen-targeting movies like “The Host” and “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” which their studios had hoped would launch franchises.

Lionsgate and Summit executives weren’t talking Thursday, but they have to be happy with what looks like a strong start for “Divergent.” The tracking numbers compare with the first “Twilight” movie at a similar stage, and they are also in line with the long-range projection of BoxOffice.com as well.

Also read: ‘Divergent’ Stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James Unveil New Trailer on Kimmel (Video)

The first “Twilight” movie opened to $69 million in November 2008. It eventually took in $192 million and spawned four sequels. Overall, the franchise brought in $3.3 billion globally.

In March 2012, the first “Hunger Games” opened to $152 million, and its “Catching Fire” sequel debuted to $158 million last year. Together, they’ve taken in $1.5 billion worldwide — with two more installments coming at Thanksgiving over the next two years.

“Divergent” is unlikely to hit those heights, but a $50 million opening would put it comfortably over $100 million domestically and on a path to profitability. It has an $85 million production budget and marketing will likely run another $40 million, but pre-sales of foreign rights have already brought in roughly $65 million.

Tickets for “Divergent” go on sale online starting Tuesday, March 4, at 9 a.m. PST.

  • Sal

    Twilight had a production budget of $37 million and made $69.6 million domestically the first weekend. No IMAX. If Divergent almost doubles its production budget the first weekend then this is a good comparison. Otherwise, not so much.

    • Liv

      twilight also opened in 2008…movie going habits have changed a lot since then. It won't tank like the other failed YA adaptations, at least not as badly, but the 50 mil opening weekend projection seems a bit generous.

  • Day_is_Over

    I love how they have a crystal ball. This movie will not open with 50 million. No one cares. The trailers look awful. Has none of the appeal of twilight or hunger games. I can't even begin to tell you what the hook is. Why should I see this movie? Other than it looks like the hunger games but with even less of a premise.

    • Mia

      I care!

    • Jack Bauer

      Why do you comment something you claim not to care about.

  • spongeblog

    Why order sequels before it even comes out?

  • Chris

    No one cares? That must be why ticket sales are already through the roof. Keep up the denial though, the crow eating is going to be glorious with this one. They have tracking numbers for a reason. And starting out at $50 million this far out bodes very, very well.

    • Jose

      Those advances ticket sales are only from the people who have read the books, aside from them no one else y planning to see it. I find it hard to believe that it will open at 50 million, alot of people haven't read the books and are not inclines to. I remember when twilight came out everyone in my middle school was Reading it and when HG came out, everyone in my high school was Reading it. Now I haven't Heard one person talk about Divergent and no one in school is Reading it and most people have not even Heard of it. I say maybe a 30 million opening weekend and after that it will go downhill specially with Noah and Captain America coming out in the upcoming weeks.
      I won't be a flop like beautiful creatures or the mostal instruments but it wont be as good as HG, Twilight or Harry Potter. It might get percy Jackson like numbers or a Little higher