Allegiant, the third film in the lackluster Divergent series, opened this weekend to little fanfare, especially in comparison to The Hunger Games film franchise, its overwhelmingly popular dystopian forebear. The penultimate installment earned only $29 million this weekend which, in box office terms, is pretty lousy.
In fact, Allegiant’s premiere marks the franchise’s most disappointing box office showing. Vulture reports that “its two predecessors made over $52 million each.” To put matters further into perspective, the second Hunger Games film, Catching Fire, earned over $158 million over the course of its first weekend in theaters. And in total, Box Office Mojo calculates that the films grossed almost $1.5 billion.
Allegiant is the final novel in Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, but, like Suzanne Collins’s Mockingjay, has been divided into two films: Allegiant and Ascendent. This move always feels money-grubbing and tends to aggravate me no matter how loathe I am for a series to reach its conclusion (see: Hunger Games and Harry Potter). In the case of the Divergent films, the decision smacks of desperation and, more generally, poor judgment.
That said, I saw the first two films, and I make it a point to start what I finish.