Divergent Earns $4.9 Million at Midnight Screenings as Sequel Green Lit

Divergent Earns $4.9 Million at Midnight Screenings as Sequel Green LitSummit Entertainment and Lionsgate’s Divergent snapped a dubious streak by young adult films that struggled at the box office with $4.9 million in business on Thursday night, prefacing a robust opening weekend in the face of strong fa family competition from Disney’s The Muppets Most Wanted. Business is so strong for Divergent that Summit Entertainment and parent Lionsgate are already pushing forward with the sequel, Insurgent.

Divergent has been groomed as the heir apparent to Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games franchise that has become a box office phenomenon. Both franchises are based from best-selling young adult novels set in a dystopian society where a young female heroine rises to lead an uprising.

Early tracking for Divergent a couple weeks ago placed its opening weekend somewhere in the neighborhood of $40-45 million. With each passing the estimates have ticked up, and now a $55 million or more opening is entirely possible given the big Thursday midnight bow.

With Divergent drawing huge young adult audiences, Summit Entertainment wasted no time today announcing the sequel, Insurgent, has been officially green lit. “We’re off to a great start with strong numbers from all regions of the country; urban, suburban and rural alike,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer via the Hollywood Reporter. “We’re confident that Divergent is on its way to becoming another important franchise for us, and we have just green lit the second film, Insurgent.”

Though Divergent is reaping rewards at the box office, its opening will come nowhere close to the huge numbers The Hunger Games and Twilight films recorded. The first The Hunger Games exploded for its midnight opening with $19.7 million, nearly four times as much as Divergent cashed in.

Wasting no time, online retailer Amazon.com has already begun taking pre-orders for Divergent on Blu-ray and DVD (click here to pre-order the Divergent Blu-ray and click here to pre-order the Divergent DVD).

We’ll update the Divergent Friday box office numbers on Saturday.

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