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The Young Adult adaptation has proved both a gold mine and minefield for studios. Lionsgate and Summit seem to have the best handle on it, while most every other studio has tried and failed. Warner Brothers may have kicked this modern trend off with Harry Potter, but Twilight and The Hunger Games have led the way of late. Will Divergent join them? Maybe.

Currently, Divergent is looking at an over $50 Million dollar opening. The good news is that nothing that opens next weekend will offer real competition (Noah, not so much), which means the film will get over $100 Million domestic. But doing over $50 Million is no sign of a franchise, even if the studio has already started working on follow-ups. What it means is a possible $150 Million stopping point, which isn’t all that great in the modern landscape. The film will need international to prove itself. Divergent could have legs, but its got six weeks to make its money, because by then the summer season will start and attentions will pivot away.

The Hunger Games opened to $152 Million. The first Twilight opened to $69 Million. Opening to $44 Million, which would normally be a great number for something, would look weak. But then films like The Host opened to $10 Million while Beautiful Creatures opened to less. Unless the film gets to $70 Million, the numbers can be spun either way. Only seventy million plus makes it an out and out hit.

Muppets Most Wanted is also opening. Could it kneecap Mr. Peabody and Sherman? A little. The film should do modestly good numbers, but it doesn’t feel like there’s as much attention around it as there was the first film. Maybe this is targeting younger audiences than the nostalgic-centric first film.

So, let’s map it out:

  1. Divergent - $58.5 Million
  2. Muppets Most Wanted - $24.7 Million
  3. Mr. Peabody and Sherman – $13 Million
  4. 300 2 - $10.8 Million
  5. Non-Stop  – $7.2 Million

This means I think Need for Speed is DOA domestically. Divergent could surge, and that would be good for the movie, because if it makes over $65 Million, it’s got a clear shot at $200 Million domestic.

What are you going to watch this weekend?