Divergent’s opening night paves way for sequel

It doesn’t matter if critics hated the latest teen futuristic drama as fans packed theaters Thursday night to check out Divergent, resulting in a decent $4.9 million first night.

The number proved enough for distributor Lionsgate, which has already approved the greenlight for the franchise’s next film Insurgent, which was tentatively scheduled for a 2015 release date.

‘We’re off to a great start with strong numbers from all regions of the country, urban, suburban and rural alike,’ said Lionsgate CEO John Feltheimer in a statement. ‘We’re confident that ‘Divergent’ is on its way to becoming another important franchise for us, and we have just greenlit the second film ‘Insurgent.”

Jaap Buitendijk/Summit Entertainment, LLC. MAGGIE Q and SHAILENE WOODLEY star in "DIVERGENT."
Jaap Buitendijk/Summit Entertainment, LLC.
MAGGIE Q and SHAILENE WOODLEY star in “DIVERGENT.”

For a little perspective, Lionsgate’s other property, which you may be familiar with – The Hunger Games saw its first installment rake in $19.7 million opening day while The Hunger Games: Catching Fire attracted $25.3 million on Thursday night screenings. Twilight’s first film earned $7 million its opening night.

So while it’s not in the lofty status of the bigger YA hits, Divergent’s first day was cause for celebration compared to other films. Noted 2013 bomb, Beautiful Creatures only managed $10.1 million its entire opening weekend, which included Thursday night screenings.