No Divergence for Insurgent from Original
By John Hamann
March 22, 2015
The sequel was like the original film in many ways. Neither received overly strong, with Divergent coming in at 41% fresh (top critics at 36%), while Insurgent turned in an even worse overall score of 32%. The Cinemascores were the same – the original had an A Cinemascore, while the sequel dropped back a strep, earning an A-. All of this is really just a tempest in a teacup, as both movies are the same. This franchise is filler, designed to earn a few bucks theatrically, and then live on as a boxset and sell some ancillary products. Early returns show Insurgent is up overseas versus Divergent, so even if the domestic take drops, the overseas increase should save it.
Finishing second this weekend is last weekend’s champ, Cinderella, which had to face off with another female-oriented feature with The Divergent Series. To avoid a 50%+ drop, Cinderella needed a weekend gross of $34 million. Maleficent fell 51% after opening to a similar $69.4 million, Alice in Wonderland dropped 46% after opening to a much higher $116.1 million, and Oz the Great and Powerful fell 48%. Cinderella’s second Friday came in $9.5 million, off a significant 59% versus its opening Friday, which means it would need an excellent Saturday and Sunday to not drop more than 50%. In the end, the second weekend gross for Cinderella came in at $34.5 million, off 49% compared to its opening frame.
One might think that this high of a drop is bad news for Cinderella, but it is really not. Since the onset of the Thursday preview, blockbusters have had the deck stacked against them even more in terms of keeping that percentage drop low in the second weekend. The Disney flick crossed the $100 million mark on Saturday, its eighth day of release, Maleficent crossed the same mark one day earlier, but Cinderella still did it a day faster than The LEGO Movie and in the same amount of time it took Pixar films like The Incredibles, Up and Finding Nemo. The $95 million Cinderella will be a hit for the Mouse House, as $200 million domestic is still in play, but where this ends up overseas remains a bit of a mystery (although it has earned more than $130 million so far internationally). So far on the domestic side, Cinderella has earned $122 million.
Run All Night, last weekend's aging action star disappointment from Liam Neeson, did the ugly in its second weekend. Run All Night earned only $5.1 million, and despite the low opening at $11 million, still fell 54% in its second weekend. The total for the $50 million R-rated action release has hit $19.7 million, but it won’t earn much more than that, likely topping out around $25 million. It will need a significant gross from overseas theaters, and I don’t see that happening at this point.
Despite flopping, The Gunman still manages a fourth place finish (which gives you an indication of the sad state of the box office). Sean Penn continued the downward trend of Liam Neeson as an action star, as The Gunman could only find $5 million from 2,816 venues at the box office this weekend. Critics hated it, with a sad sack critical rating of only 14% fresh, and the Cinemascore wasn’t much better at B-. From director Pierre Morel (Taken), Penn was looking to increase his exposure (or cash a cheque), but only served to move himself backward career-wise. The Gunman was made for $40 million, a number the film won’t come close to domestically, but given the director and some European co-stars, it might get a hand from overseas audiences. Open Road Films is simply the distributor here, as Canal Plus made this dreck and carries the financial exposure.