The latest young adult novel adaptation, Divergent, got off to a strong start this weekend, finishing in first with $56 million. Aimed at the same crowd that loves The Hunger Games, this one wasn't quite as successful and even came in slightly below expectations, but it's still a big opening and should hold well with that same audience. As expected, the audience was 60% female and under the age of 25, and gave the poorly received film an "A" Cinemascore, so this trend is likely to continue for a while. The best thing I can say about it is that with all the superhero movies dominating the box office every year, at least these ones have a female action hero, which is fairly new.
The other new release, Muppets Most Wanted, opened to disappointing numbers, pulling in just $16 million in second place. The last movie opened in 2011 to $29 million over Thanksgiving weekend and was frontloaded by a surprisingly older audience that was being driven by nostalgia, so this pretty much tells me that this generation's kids have no real connection to the beloved puppet franchise. Mr. Peabody held on in third with $11 million, so the family audience wasn't too drawn in by the Muppets, and it's now grossed $81 million overall. 300 was in fourth with $8 million and rounding out the top five was God's Not Dead, a low budget, no name movie about a college student who defends his belief in God to a professor. Faith based films are turning out to be surprisingly strong at the box office this year, with Mark Burnett's Son of God and now this movie turning a profit ahead of next week's Noah.
- Divergent- $56 million
- Muppets Most Wanted- $16.5 million
- Mr. Peabody and Sherman- $11.7 million
- 300: Rise of an Empire- $8.7 million
- God's Not Dead- $8.6 million
Next week it's the release of Noah amid a swirl of controversy over whether Christian audiences will turn out for a film that has been rumored to not follow the biblical story to a tee (after all, this is Darren Aronofsky we're talking about, director of Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan), but it's already pulled in a large haul in foreign markets, particularly the largely Catholic Mexico, so it's going to be interesting to see how it does.