As we write this, we can almost picture an executive running down the halls of Lionsgate/Summit's HQ to hit the button marked "New Franchise," that will set a bell ringing throughout the place. Yes, Divergent has arrived and the latest dystopian sci-fi novel adaptation is a success. With $56 million in the US this weekend, the film is off to a strong start and the sequel – which, let's face it, the company was already planning – is assured.
With healthy IMAX performances adding to that launch, the movie's mid-range $85 million budget also helped matters, even if the Shailene Woodley-starring film didn't make quite as big a splash as, say, The Hunger Games (which launched its first two entries with $150 million plus each) or Twilight ($69 million for its first outing).
Kermit and co., meanwhile, don't have quite as much to be happy about, with a disappointing $16.5 million opening for Muppets Most Wanted, much reduced from The Muppets' stateside launch of $29.2 million. They'll be hoping that child pester power helps matters, but it turns out that Constantine can't always get you what you want. Mr. Peabody & Sherman slipped to third place, adding a still respectable $11.7 million and making Ty Burrell MVP of this week's box-office (he's also in Muppets Most Wanted), while 300: Rise Of An Empire fell to fourth with $8.6 million, raising doubts on it matching the original's $456 million worldwide total. Fifth place went to Christian drama God's Not Dead, earning a healthy (for its genre) $8.5 million and reinforcing the trend for religious-themed films at the moment.
Need For Speed drove down to sixth place, steering into $7.7 million as it went, while The Grand Budapest Hotel continued its wildly successful run, adding more screens and jumping up a place in the charts to seventh for $6.7 million. Non-Stop was eighth, earning $6.3 million, while The Lego Movie slipped to ninth and $4.1 million. In tenth we find Tyler Perry's The Single Mom's Club, which has disappointed the writer/director/actor with its lacklustre showing and $12 million to date.
To discover which box-office faction you fall into, head to Box Office Mojo.