Friday Box Office: ‘Insurgent’ Unlikely to Best ‘Divergent’s Opening Weekend

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insurgentThe common expectation for a sequel is for it to improve on the first installment’s box office, especially when you add IMAX and 3D ticket prices to the mix, but Insurgent looks as if it won’t be able to match Divergent‘s $54.6 million opening from one year ago. Opening with an estimated $21.3 million on Friday, that’s a $1.5 million shy of Divergent‘s Friday numbers, Insurgent is looking at something around $50 million this weekend. Not to overlook, this installment is also carrying a $115 million price tag compared to Divergent‘s $85 million.

What will be most interesting is how it will end up doing overseas as that has become the source of a large amount of box office earnings for today’s larger budgeted features. The first film, however, only brought in $137.8 million internationally compared to the $150.9 million domestically.

Insurgent earned an “A-” CinemaScore from opening day audiences, just a shade below Divergent‘s “A”, which sort of maintains a consistent theme. It will be interesting, however, to see how the studio reacts to these numbers should they hold.

After the $288.7 million Divergent made worldwide on an $85 million budget, how will Summit react if Insurgent does less on a larger budget. As of now the plan is for the final book in Veronica Roth‘s trilogy to be turned into two parts, with Allegiant: Part 1 set for a March 18, 2016 release with Part 2 arriving a year after that.

Meanwhile, the Sean Penn actioner, The Gunman, opened with a soft $1.8 million on its way to a likely $5-5.5 million weekend.

I’ll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend box office top ten. [Variety]