Lionsgate is exploring taking The Divergent Series: Ascendant off its theatrical release slate and instead turning it into a telefilm, with a possible spinoff for the IP. The film was originally slated to go as a summer tentpole in June 2017, but after what clearly is decreasing interest in the property from its core audience at the box office each year, the business move may be a wise one. Nothing has been decided as of yet, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.
In 2014, Divergent grossed $151M domestically and $288.9M worldwide. The following year, Insurgent pursed $130.1M and $273.2M worldwide. Allegiant, which bowed in March of this year, grabbed only $66.2M and $179.2M. It’s been a steady decline.
Lionsgate is talking about maybe pushing the film to TV, possibly to Starz since it just acquired the network in a deal worth $4.4B in cash and stock last month. With that idea, a TV series based on the films would be a no-brainer as it would feed the pipeline for original content at Starz. All films are based on the Veronica Roth book series.
More likely, however, is Lionsgate Premiere, the speciality division to release films theatrically via streaming and video on demand.
Lee Toland Krieger had already been tapped to direct Ascendant. The film remains on the theatrical release calendar but is not yet in production.
Lionsgate has been retrenching on the film side as of late. They have 12 films scheduled for this year, but they are producing at a lower cost now. Still, with Hunger Games having wound down, the studio is still looking for franchise property. Next year, they hope to catch lightning in a bottle again with the reboot of Power Rangers which is scheduled for release on March 24, 2017.
The story about the Ascendent possibility first broke on Variety.