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411 Box Office Report: Divergent Dominates Its Way to #1
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 03.23.2014

It was all about dystopian young adult fiction at the box office this weekend, and we're not talking about The Hunger Games. Lionsgate's Divergent debuted at #1 with ease in the weekend box office results with $56 million. The number is just a touch on the low end for what the studio was hoping for; they were optimistic about a $60 million range opening. However, the film is still expected to be a big win for the studio and is heads and tails about recent YA adaptation disappointments. Critics were not kind to the film and these kinds of projects tend to be very front-loaded due to their passionate fanbases all coming out in droves on opening weekend, but the A CinemaScore should help offset that to give this one life at the box office (at least, until Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The film averaged $14,228 from 3,936 and is on its way to making back the $85 million budget with ease. A second film is already heavy into development.

Debuting at #2 was Muppets Most Wanted. The latest adventure from the well-known characters hit disappointing marks in its debut despite solid critical attention, scoring just $16.5 million domestically and $18 million worldwide. The film was expected by Disney to bring in somewhere in the low $20 million range, so they can't be happy with this; most likely Mr. Peabody & Sherman's strength took family audiences away from it. The film scored a B+ CinemaScore and combined with the strong reviews and the traditional legs inherent in the family genre it still has a chance at success with a $50 million budget, but it will be an uphill climb.

Speaking of Mr. Peabody & Sherman, it was down two spots to #3 with a strong $11.7 million in its third weekend. The DreamWorks Animation film has now grossed $93.7 million domestically and $183.2 million worldwide on a budget of $145 million, making it a hit for DreamWorks despite a disappointing opening weekend.

300: Rise of the Empire was also down two spots, finishing at #4 in its third weekend with $8.7 million. The period action sequel has now grossed $93.8 million domestically and $289.2 million worldwide from a budget of $110 million. It is still on course for $110 million to $125 million domestically.

Shocking prognosticators with its strong opening this weekend was God's Not Dead. The religious drama from Pure Flix Entertainment opened at #5 with $8.6 million in just 780 theaters. This again shows why you can never count out faith-based films, which have a tendency to open well but this one is easily the biggest win to date for the genre. The film, which stars Shane Harper and Kevin Sorbo, averaged $10,979 from 780 theaters. Its budget isn't known.

Need For Speed was down three spots in its second weekend, burning out quickly with just $7.8 million. That's a higher-than-average 58% drop for action/racing films, though it is about on par for video game adaptations. The film has now grossed $30.4 million domestically but its worldwide appeal is solid, with $126.5 million around the world on a $66 million budget.

Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel continued its climb up the charts, expanding to 304 theaters in its third week of limited release and bringing in $6.8 million to raise a spot to #7. The film continues to hold the highest per-screen average of the week with $22,204 per theater; it has now grossed $12.9 million domestically and $46.1 million worldwide; its budget isn't known.

Down four spots to #8 in its fourth weekend was Liam Neeson's Non-Stop. The action-thriller brought in $6.3 million; it has now grossed $78.6 million domestically and $142 million worldwide on a production budget of $50 million.

The LEGO Movie was down three spots in its seventh week to #7 with $4.1 million. The film has now grossed $243.4 million domestically and $391 million worldwide from a $60 million budget.

Tyler Perry's latest film followed up its weak opening with a steep drop this weekend, as Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club fell five spots to #10. The ensemble dramedy brought in $3.1 million for a 62% drop from its already-disappointing opening weekend. Perry's films always have somewhat larger drops but this is the biggest second-weekend fall since 2010's Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? This one is more or less a guaranteed flop at this point with just $12.9 million so far and will be the lowest-grossing film in Perry's career as a director; it is unlikely to top $20 million at this point. No word on the film's budget.

The weekend box office tally was $139.6 million, up 0.5% from last year's take of $138.9 million that was led by The Croods' $43.6 million opening.

Note: Numbers include Sunday estimates and are three-day estimates. A studio recoups 55% of a film's grosses on average, meaning it needs to approximately double its budget to be profitable during its theatrical run.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Numbers)
1. Divergent - $56 million ($56 million total)
2. Muppets Most Wanted - $16.5 million ($16.5 million total)
3. Mr. Peabody & Sherman - $11.7 million ($81 million total)
4. 300: Rise of an Empire - $8.7 million ($93.8 million total)
5. God's Not Dead - $8.6 million ($8.6 million total)
6. Need For Speed - $7.8 million ($30.4 million total)
7. The Grand Budapest Hotel - $6.8 million ($12.9 million total)
8. Non-Stop - $6.3 million ($78.6 million total)
9. The LEGO Movie - $4.1 million ($243.4 million total)
10. Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club - $3.1 million ($12.9 million total)


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