Summit has decided to greenlight the Divergent sequel Insurgent following an impressive midnight box office Thursday evening.
Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, opened to $4.9 million at the midnight box office last night. Screenings across the country began as early as 8 p.m. local time.
By comparison, the first Twilight opened to $7 million in 2008 while The Hunger Games made $19.7 million two years ago. Later Harry Potter films pulled in double digits at midnight. More recently, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opened to $8.8 million.
The best films to compare Divergent to in terms of midnight box office performance are Twilight and Hunger Games since they’re both the first films in a YA series that had massive sales before the release of the film.
In a statement, the studio celebrated the news.
“We’re off to a great start with strong numbers from all regions of the country, urban, suburban and rural alike,” said Lionsgate chief executive officer Jon Feltheimer in a statement. “We’re confident that ‘Divergent’ is on its way to becoming another important franchise for us, and we have just greenlit the second film, ‘Insurgent.’”
News of Insurgent getting the go ahead shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise to spectators. In December the studio set release dates for the sequel (March 2015) and the finale Allegiant (March 2016), which indicated Summit’s confidence in Divergent’s performance.
The sequel is set to begin filming in May, according to previous comments from Summit.
We’ll let you how the film’s weekend box office totals when the numbers come in. Projections currently have the movie making between $50m to $60m in the United States. That equals an impressive start for the franchise.
Thanks to The Wrap for the news.