“Divergent” Tops Weekend Box Office With $56 Million

By Staff  |  03/24/2014

Divergent

Following the successes of Twilight and The Hunger Games, Lionsgate lands another teen film franchise with the box-office topping Divergent.

The teen sci-fi thriller, starring Shailene Woodley, debuted with $56 million over the weekend. Reports say studios expected more, but it launches Lionsgate's third franchise built on young-adult best-sellers. It's about a world divided by factions based on virtues. Tris (Woodley) learns she's Divergent and won't fit in. So, when she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, she and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late.

Lionsgate, called it "a great beginning for another franchise for the company." A sequel is already in the works.

Disney's Muppets sequel Muppets Most Wanted, with Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey, debuted at No. 2 with a disappointing $16.5 million. Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney, told the AP the numbers were disappointing and somewhat "head-scratching." "There certainly was something in the last Muppets -- not having anything available for fans for a while -- that satisfied pent up demand that we didn't have the benefit of this time around," he said.

Last weekend's top film, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, falls to No. 3 with $11.7 million to bring its domestic numbers to over $81 million; 300: Rise of an Empire lands at No. 4 with $8.6 million and $93.7 million so far; and the independently-released God's Not Dead surprised everyone with its strong performance to debut at No. 5 with $8.5 million, despite playing on just 780 screens.

That's a wrap for this weekend. This upcoming week, look out for the release of Lionsgate's Cesar Chavez, starring Michael Pena and John Malkovich; Russell Crowe's Noah; and the new Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick, Sabotage.

This weekend's top 10 is as follows:

1. "Divergent," $56 million.
2. "Muppets Most Wanted," $16.5 million.
3. "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," $11.7 million.
4. "300: Rise of an Empire," $8.7 million.
5. "God's Not Dead," $8.6 million.
6. "Need for Speed," $7.8 million.
7. "Grand Budapest Hotel," $7 million.
8. "Non-Stop," $6.3 million.
9. "The Lego Movie," $4.1 million.
10. "The Single Mom's Club," $3.1 million.