Lionsgate’s The Divergent Series: Allegiant is getting out in front of its March 18 domestic release with a foreign debut this weekend in 45 markets and an industry projected take between $30M-$40M. Yesterday, Allegiant was number one in France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Sweden. In France alone, the Shailene Woodley title drew 135K admissions at 654 locations, close to $1M in its opening day. France has been the top territory for the YA sci-fi revolution series with part 1 grossing $12.4M and Insurgent generating $16.9M. Italy posted $191K in previews yesterday, which we’re told is OK. Philippines chalked up $140K at 160 sites while Netherlands made $60K in previews.
It’s a different roll out than what was taken with the previous sequel Insurgent which was a day and date global release chalking up $48.4M in 76 markets in its first frame, $100.7M worldwide. Essentially the staggered release for Allegiant intends to take advantage of school holidays abroad, not to mention, foreign distributors have to sidestep Disney’s family juggernaut Zootopia which made a terrific $10.2M overseas yesterday, taking its international till to $198.4M and global cume to $287.1M. Despite the slide at the domestic B.O. between Divergent ($150M) and Insurgent ($130M), overseas grew between part 1 and 2 from $137.9M to $167M, and thus global too with $289M to $297M.
Allegiant‘s first day in France outstrips the 76K admissions racked up by the first Divergent on 550 screens, but is second to Insurgent‘s 147K at 615 screens. Insurgent opened to $6.4M in France last March. Insurgent posted a $1.47M opening in Italy before ending its run there with $3.3M. After France, the other top markets for Insurgent include Brazil at $12.3M, United Kingdom at $11.9M and Russia with $9.5M.
Similar to the 23% drop off between the openings of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($155M) and Mockingjay- Part 1 ($122M), the industry is projecting a similar decline in the domestic opening between Insurgent and Allegiant: While part two opened to $52.3M last March and finaled at $130M, current estimates for next weekend stand between $35M-$40M. They’ll also be some help from Imax screens, but no 3D. Before you can scream “sequelitis”, among the Divergent faithful, Veronica Roth’s last book Allegiant (which Lionsgate is splitting up into two films with Ascendant opening on June 9, 2017) is a polarizing novel. Even though it chalked up 3M in estimated book sales, it provoked fans to take to social and protest their concerns to Roth. Essentially that’s what might be contributing to the downturn in grosses next weekend. Hopefully, Lionsgate can appease fans with something fresh in the finale as they’re changing up directors: 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.
In addition, as one industry analyst pointed out, the presence of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice on the U.S. tracking boards is throwing a number of estimates off, i.e. Zootopia came in at $75M when many thought it would open in the $60M range.
This weekend, Allegiant will also plays in the UK, Brazil, Russia, Spain and Finland. By the time Allegiant opens domestically, the threequel based will be in 74 territories. On March 18, Allegiant will be in Mexico, Germany, Denmark, and Norway.