Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
March 22, 2014
The young adult book series starts off solidly with a Friday total of $22.8 million, with $4.9 million of that coming from midnight Thursday showings. This is finally a novel adaptation that built a solid fan base (the third book was just released last fall) and is more than just a Twilight redux. It’s not on the same level as Twilight or The Hunger Games but a $20 million opening day for a new intellectual property with few big names in the cast (Kate Winslet has never been a box office draw) is very strong and bodes well for the future, as the second book in the series, Insurgent, has already been penciled in for next year.
Box office wise, Friday was very likely Divergent’s best day given the strong midnight showing and target audience. Still, a 2.6 multiplier for the weekend (after removing the midnight figure and putting it back in at the end) would mean a $51.3 million weekend, an outstanding start for the $80 million film.
Muppets Most Wanted
The Muppets sequel could only earn $4.6 million on Friday, which is down from the opening day of the 2011 reboot, which earned $6.5 million on a Wednesday. While that was the day before Thanksgiving, that’s still bad news for what was thought to be a rejuvenated franchise. After Mr. Peabody & Sherman opened with $32 million two weeks ago, there was hope that Muppets Most Wanted would continue the 2014 nostalgia tour thanks to its deluge of advertising and marketing tie-ins, but the last movie took in $41 million in five days and Muppets Most Wanted will not even come in with half of that in three. The weekend will be much kinder to it, especially compared to Divergent, but you’re still looking at a disappointing weekend of $18.4 million.
God's Not Dead
The biggest surprise on Friday is the third place showing of God’s Not Dead, earning $2.8 million in 780 theaters. A Christian film, produced by upstart Pure Flix Entertainment and distributed by Freestyle Releasing, God’s Not Dead stars Kevin “Hercules” Sorbo and advertised a “special appearance” by Duck Dynasty cast member Willie Robinson, which is the most likely contributor to its success. BOP has discussed the increased success niche films have seen over the last few years, and God’s Not Dead is another example of this. Look for a weekend of $7.6 million, which is a very solid performance.