Divergent was top dog at the US box office over the weekend, pulling in an estimated $56 million. Muppets Most Wanted took just $16.5 million and the faith-based independent film God’s Not Dead managed a not-so-heavenly $8.6 million, although this was a good result for a small movie opening in just 780 theaters.
The PG-13 action movie Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, was aimed at the Hunger Games audience, which gave that movie an astounding $152.5 million opening weekend back in March 2012. Divergent failed to meet these heights; despite taking the top spot at the box office, it failed to meet the estimates of the industry analysts that had predicted a $60-million opening weekend.
Critical reaction to the movie has also been somewhat lackluster, though not enough to prevent Lionsgate giving the green light to a sequel, Insurgent, which is to be released in March next year and the finale to the trilogy, Allegiant, which is to open in the same month in 2016.
The other wide weekend release showed that it is really not easy being green in the 21st century, with Muppets Most Wanted making just $16.5 million despite the presence of big name stars such as Tina Fey, Ty Burrell and Ricky Gervais. The beloved Jim Henson characters have a lengthy and not always successful history on the big screen, with the highest grossing movie being The Muppets in 2011 and the low point being 1999’s Muppets in Space.