If there’s one thing Lionsgate/Summit have figured out, it’s how to milk YA franchises for all they’re worth. When it came time to say goodbye to “Twilight,” the studio decided to grab money from the fans twice, by extending “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” into two films. So of course, the next move was to do the same with “The Hunger Games,” with the finale “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” also set to be delivered in two different servings. Now, with “Divergent” their latest YA hit, they’re doing the same.
Lionsgate announced that the trilogy finale, “Allegiant,” will be split into two movies, with part one dropping on March 18, 2016 and part two arriving a full year later on March 24, 2017. Why is this being done? Here’s the roundabout because-we-can answer from Lionsgate honchos Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger: “Veronica Roth brings her captivating story to a masterful conclusion in ‘Allegiant,’ a rich, action-packed book with material that is ideally suited to two strong and fulfilling movies,” they said. “The storytelling arc and world of the characters lend themselves perfectly to two films, a storytelling strategy that has worked very well for us on the two Twilight Breaking Dawn films and about which we’re tremendously enthusiastic for the two upcoming Mockingjay films of The Hunger Games franchise.”
Right guys, whatever. We’re not quite sure how the 487-page “Divergent” (turned into a 2 hour and 20 minute movie) is acceptable for one film, while the 544-page “Allegiant” suddenly demands two. Either way, Lionsgate/Summit are banking on the fact that you’re gonna be interesting in paying twice to see how this thing ends.