Similar to last weekend with the $131.6M global bow of Disney’s Cinderella, women are the prime target again this frame with the opening of Lionsgate’s Divergent sequel Insurgent, based on the second title in the popular Veronica Roth young adult book trilogy. Industry estimates peg the global bow between $105M-$120M. The sequel is getting a big boost in ticket sales this time around versus a year ago — when the first installment bowed in the same frame — from a global day-and-date launch as well as 3D and IMAX bookings.
The film, which is directed by Robert Schwentke, will play in about 170 IMAX hubs outside the U.S. in the UK, Russia, Mexico, Taiwan, France, Netherlands and Philippines.
Playing at 3,875 engagements, Insurgent is looking at $55M-$65M at the domestic box office. Previews kick off Thursday night at 7 PM. Similar to last weekend, the upcoming FSS will also profit from those kids on school break with K-12 schools at 19% off and a third of all colleges off per Rentrak Theatrical. Conservative estimates see Insurgent with a $50M+ international opening in 74 territories on 9,200 screens, with more aggressive projections at $60M. China, Japan, Korea, Spain and some smaller territories will bow in the weeks to come.
Last year’s Divergent opened to $54.6M stateside and ended with a final cume that was 2.8x its bow, $150.9M, quickly making star Shailene Woodley a box office draw in a similar way that The Hunger Games worked for Jennifer Lawrence. Divergent, which had a staggered release overseas starting in April and hitting China in September (where it made a relatively low $12.3M), collected another $137.8M for a global haul of $288.7M. Insurgent will likely bow later this spring in the Middle Kingdom. Last weekend’s girl-power champ Cinderella continues to play and is expanding to Korea.
Insurgent should benefit internationally from greater penetration of book sales, and thus increased familiarity after the original film. And, it’s a big action spectacle that traditionally works with offshore audiences. Then there’s the Fault In Our Stars effect which cannot be discounted, which further proved that Woodley could succeed at the B.O. outside Divergent with $124.9M domestic B.O. and $181.6M overseas. TFIOS’ biggest non-U.S. market was Brazil with over $31M while Divergent’s top offshore play was in France with $12.4M. Reviews have so far been very positive in France for Insurgent where it was the top showing in Paris today, setting it off to a very strong start. Divergent was made for just under $90M, while Insurgent carries a higher pricetag with an industry-reported $110M-$120M budget.
Canal Plus’ The Gunman starring Sean Penn as a sniper who is forced to go on the lam after a job he took in the Congo goes south, will be released by Open Road Films stateside at approximately 2,800 theaters, as well as another 20 markets abroad. Similar to the U.S. Gunman will be overlapping with Insurgent in the UK. Gunman is looking to ring up $8M at the domestic B.O. Similar to the way that Warner Bros. vied to counter-program Cinderella with its R-rated testosterone feature Run All Night last Friday, Open Road is looking to appeal to guys over 25 in a femme-dominant market. Ironically, Run All Night drew older women, which some insiders say boiled down to those ladies being turned away from sold-out Cinderella screenings.
Also looking to take advantage of couter-programming is Pure Flix’s release of its Christian-faith drama Do You Believe? in about 1,300 playdates nationwide for a three-day take of $5.5M. The pic, which stars Mira Sorvino, Sean Astin and Cybill Shepherd, tells the story of a pastor whose life is changed when he encounters a street-corner preacher. Similar to Pure Flix’s March release a year ago God’s Not Dead, which went up against Divergent, Do You Believe? also carries themes which are ripe for Lenten audiences. God’s Not Dead was an indie success, carrying a $2M budget, a $9.2M opening and a final domestic B.O. of $60.8M.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches, Paramount is re-releasing its Martin Luther King Jr. biopic Selma in 702 venues nationwide. Moviegoers who purchase a ticket at a participating theater can receive an additional ticket free. Selma was nominated for two Oscars, including best picture, and won a best song trophy for Common and John Legend’s “Glory.”
Among last weekend’s holdovers at the domestic B.O., Cinderella is looking to decline 50% from its $67.88M opening per industry estimates with $32M-$33M. Run All Night is looking at a $6.5M FSS after its $11M bow.