“The Divergent Series: Insurgent” (Lionsgate) scored an easy top position yesterday to dominate the Top Ten with $21.3 million haul (including Thursday preview shows). Though a strong number, it lagged slightly behind the $22.8 million “Divergent” took in exactly one year ago. This differs from the trajectory seen with both the “Twilight” and “Hunger Games” series, where the second entry’s initial Friday improved on the opening day take. This is also a bit more disappointing since lead actress Shailene Woodley had a second smash hit “The Fault in Our Stars” last summer to increase her draw.
Whatever slight shortfall “Insurgent” showed though is minor compared to the total failure of “The Gunman” (Open Road), a mostly European action production from Pierre Morel, the director of “Taken,” with Sean Penn attempting to leap into Harrison Ford/Liam Neeson territory. It managed less than $1.8 million, still good enough for third place on a weak March Friday.
“Cinderella” (Buena Vista) placed second in between with just over $9.5 million, down 59 per cent from last week. That is a bit more of a drop than similar audience successes “Maleficent,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” despite opening a bit or more below all of these. It still remain a strong performer, and will cross $100 million during matinees today, only its ninth in release.
The mixed bag of results led to a drop of eight per cent from the same “Divergent”-series driven, partial spring vacation and NCAA-tournament opening weekend last year, with continued hints that audiences aren’t flocking to established series and familiar genres the way studios anticipate, at least domestically (the larger foreign market remains more supportive.)
Off the main-stream, bit city radar, “Do You Believe?” (PureFlix), another independent fundamentalist Christian oriented film, opened in sixth with $1,250,000 in only 1,320 theaters, a bit more than a third of the top two releases. Its stars Mira Sorvino, and opened the same weekend as the smash hit “God’s Not Dead” last year. It didn’t start with the same strength though – the latter took in $2.8 million its first day in only 780 theaters.
The rest of the mostly mediocre holdovers saw the second Friday of “Run All Night” (Warner Bros.) gross $1.4 million for fourth, a big drop from a weak start. “Kingsman: The Secret Service” (20th Century Fox) placed fifth just under $1.3 million as it continues to add to its impressive haul (already at $111 million).
Nothing else managed to top $1 million. The rest of the list, from seventh to tenth, includes “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (Fox Searchlight) with $964,000, “Focus” (Warner Bros.) $930,000, “Chappie” (Sony) $700,000 and “McFarland U.S.A.” (Buena Vista) $623,000.