We’ve known for a while that The Divergent Series: Allegiant was set to open significantly lower than its previous two installments, which each posted debuts slightly north of $50M. That’s not news. We told you last week that part three is bound to see a downturn due to the fact that the ending of Veronica Roth’s third novel left Divergent fans polarized. Now, industry analysts are seeing Allegiant opening with $30M-$32M at 3,700 locations with the possibility of Zootopia holding its No. 1 turf with an estimated $35M in its third outing.
The reported production cost for Divergent was just under $90M, and Insurgent carried a reported $110M-$120M price tag. Allegiant‘s cost is similar to Insurgent‘s. Already, Allegiant has grossed north of $25M at the foreign B.O. from 45 markets, and it hits Germany, Mexico, Denmark and Norway this weekend. China is TBD, even though the first two pics played there. Divergent ranked No. 17 in terms of profit in Deadline’s 2014 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament with a studio net profit of $71.9M. Lionsgate had an estimated $70M theatrical exposure on Divergent after $65M foreign pre-sales against total theatrical costs (including P&A) of $135M. But even with a lower opening on Allegiant, nothing could tick foreign buyers off more than Lionsgate’s $140M Gods of Egypt disaster, which currently counts $108M at the global B.O.
Working in Lionsgate’s favor this weekend is a growth in K-12 schools off on spring break. Per comScore, the number grows from 16% this week to 22% on Friday and then 27% on Monday. There’s also 33% of colleges off this Friday. Like last year with Insurgent, Allegiant has help from Imax and PLF ticket prices.
Critics haven’t always been on board with this YA series. The current Rotten Tomatoes is at 21% rotten, but not all the reviews have been filed yet. Divergent earned 40% Rotten while Insurgent fell to 29%. Back in February, Insurgent and Allegiant director Robert Schwentke stepped away from helming the finale in order to take a break after shooting both titles back-to-back.
Sony and Affirm have Miracles From Heaven, which is based on Christy Beam’s memoir about her 12-year-old daughter who had a near-death experience and was later cured of a digestive disorder. The film has the same producers — Joe Roth and T.D. Jakes — as Sony’s 2014 Lenten season hit Heaven Is For Real, which opened to $22.5M and finaled at $91.4M. DeVon Franklin was also a huge force behind Miracles as well. Miracles is expected to make a FSS of $10M-$11M but is getting a leg up on the competition by opening tomorrow. Similar to Heaven, Miracles carries a thrifty production cost of $13M. Some non-Sony analysts are expecting Miracles to surprise, particularly over five days. Jennifer Garner stars alongside Eugenio Derbez, who has a massive Latin American following (his Instructions Not Included is the highest grossing Mexican film stateside at $44.5M).
Paramount’s 10 Cloverfield Lane is expected to decline at least 50% for $12.4M in its second sesh, which is better than the average 60% drop weathered by most horror thrillers.
Brian Brooks will have the specialty outlook later this week. On deck in Austin, New York and Los Angeles is Warner Bros’ sci-fi drama Midnight Special from Jeff Nichols starring Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Joel Edgerton. Nichols’ last pic four years ago, Mud, earned $21.6M stateside during the late spring. Pic will be in play at five locations. Warner Bros. is rolling the film out slowly in order to benefit from excellent word of mouth. Midnight Special received great reactions recently at the Berlin Film Festival and SXSW.