The Divergent Series: Allegiant Disappointing At Weekend Box Office

Releasing The Divergent Series: Allegiant this week was always considered a bit of a risk. With [...]

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Releasing The Divergent Series: Allegiant this week was always considered a bit of a risk. With only a week to go before Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice bursts into theaters, the film had to have a pretty huge opening weekend in order to be a bona fide hit, since in all likelihood it will drop significantly next week as most casual moviegoers flood into the next big superhero punch-up.

Unfortunately, it looks like that big opening isn't in the cards for the penultimate installment in the Shailene Woodley-led franchise.

The film -- which also stars Fantastic Four's Miles Teller, The Flash's Keiynan Lonsdale, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow guest star Joseph David-Jones -- is projected to gross $30 million for the weekend, more than $20 million less than either of the previous two Allegiant films did. That's after THR reports Allegiant earned just $11.9 million yesterday, which includes $2 million from late-night Thursday screenings.

Of course, the first half of two-part finales have sometimes faltered, only for the last movie to put up big numbers. At this point, there's no real concern that a disappointment here would change the fate of the franchise.

Allegiant was formerly Allegiant - Part One, until the studio decided to rename it Allegiant and the second half Ascendant. THR still reports the film as being titled Allegiant - Part One, as does IMDb, but IMDb also lists the finale as being called Ascendant, so it looks like the last-minute change just hasn't trickled through all of Hollywood's computers yet. Fandango lists the movie without a "Part One" tag on its ticket sales page.

Zootopia now looks positioned to take home the box office crown this weekend; it paced behind Allegiant yesterday but is expected to have strong weekend traffic -- it's a kids' movie, after all -- and roar back to something like a $35-39 million weekend.

Allegiant's disappointment won't necessarily mean the film doesn't turn a profit; it was made for a reported $110 million -- relatively inexpensive for a high-profile franchise film -- and has already generated $25 million and change overseas.

What's interesting about Allegiant's performance is that it is the third franchise sequel in the last few weeks to debut with markedly smaller numbers than its previous installment; both 10 Cloverfield Lane and London Has Fallen had softer openings than Cloverfield and Olympus Has Fallen. In both cases, though, the projects are expected to earn back their money and won't be considered "bombs."

What, if anything, this means for this year's glut of superhero sequels -- starting with Batman v Superman and running through new X-Men and Captain America installments -- is anybody's guess.