BREAKING MOVIE NEWS
Parents tend to reach out to us when a borderline title reaches theaters, asking us if we think their kids can handle it. Itís a hard topic to address, because what one parent might deem questionable, another might see as totally fine.
Teen-targeted dramas like Hunger Games and Twilight have been cash cows for studios Lionsgate and Summit, but the two studios felt compelled to share the risk when it came to the lastest young adult novel adaptation Divergent. Even though Divergent the first in a series, banked an impressive number one this weekend with $56 million, it fell short of the other mega-franchise movies which have tended to open at $70 million or higher.
This weekend, while Kermit the Frog will fall prey to a criminal plot in front of younger children and families in Muppets Most Wanted, Shailene Woodley and Neil Burgerís DIvergent will be attracting nearly every other audience demographic there is. And based on the dystopian fantasyís impressive Thursday night box office receipts, it looks like this is going to be an unequivocal success, which Iím sure will be a face-palm of butthurt for everyone who either hoped or assumed that this flick was a failure out of the gates.
Director Neil Burgerís big screen take on Veronica Rothís story does diverge in some ways, but often attempts to keep the integral portions of the novel intact, changing details and dialogue to suit its own needs and whims.
If films are becoming more like television, consider this an echo of the miniseries. Divergent is just the latest Lionsgate property to utilize this aggressive business plan of saturating theaters with product each year.
Being a parent is undoubtedly an incredible challenge in our own world, but in the science-fiction universe of Divergent it comes with an extra special twist. Because young people are ultimately psychologically tested to see which faction of society they will end up in, the society actually does its part to warp the balance of nature vs. nurture.
In the film, James stars as Four, a member of the Dauntless faction that helps maintain security in the futuristic Chicago in the story. He is one of the instructors who both helps train the new recruits what it means to become Dauntless, and push them to the limit to see whether or not they can take it.
It's factions vs. Muppets this week at the box office, and if Fandango's "Fanticipation" meter is any indication, Divergent will come out ahead of Muppets Most Wanted. Given reports that the film's advance ticket sales got off to a good start, signs were already pointing toward a successful opening weekend...
Directed by Neil Burger, Divergent follows Tris as she lives life in a futuristic world where society has been split into five factions based on personality types: Abnegation (the charitable); Amity (the farmers); Candor (the lawyers); Dauntless (the security); and Erudite (the thinkers). When Tris comes of age she goes into a testing process to find out which faction she will be spend the rest of her life with, but is shocked to discover that she is what is called Divergent Ė meaning that she possesses qualities from all five factions.
Spring is coming. A long, slow winter of movies is finally coming to an end as well. We arenít totally there yet, but things are starting to look up this week with young adult novels and Muppets.
Perhaps her work on these authentic teen romances soured her on the Twilight series. Hopefully Divergent preaches the proper messages that help empower teenagers, who really could use more on-screen role models.
If this kind of sell-out behavior continues over the next couple of weeks prior to its March 21 premiere, there is indeed a good chance the lofty predictions of a $65 million opening weekend will come true. Plus, it could become one of Fandangoís biggest presales in the companyís history. Regardless of my disinterest in Divergent, Iím perfectly happy with anything knocking Twilightís successes down a couple of notches.
The Internet has no idea what to think about Divergent. On some days in some optimistic corners of cyberspace, itís painted as the next coming of The Hunger Games, an extremely exciting juggernaut that will inspire all the popular 2014 Halloween costumes and net hundreds of millions in profits.
Advance tickets for Divergent are now on sale, and to mark the occasion, Summit has released a new featurette, which focuses on Theo James character Four. Known to some for TV series Bedlam and Golden Boy, or for his brief but memorable role in an episode of Downton Abbey, James appears to be up for some stunts, particularly as it relates to fight scenes.
Of course, Rothís no dummy. Had she written about disliking the book, it surely would have robbed her of future sales, since book sales tend to skyrocket after the release of a film. And itís very possible she signed a non-disclosure agreement with the studio that forced her to keep silent about the actual movie, but both parties agreed a little bit of promotion wouldnít hurt anyone.
March is the month where both Hollywood and the indie circuit really kick into high gear, parading out big budget spectacles, quirky comedies, action romps and yes, even a Tyler Perry movie.
With Divergent once again featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, it's no surprise that some new photos from the feature adaptation of Veronica Roth's novel has made its way online.
We've actually seen Divergent stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James on the cover of Entertainment Weekly before, so that in itself isn't quite as interesting as the subject matter teased on the magazine's cover. Under the image of Tris and Four is the headline, "All Eyes On Divergent," which is subtitled "Inside the Fan Frenzy... and Why Hollywood Needs the Movie to Succeed."
Divergent fans are likely celebrating the fact that we're just one day away from the one-month countdown to the arrival of the feature adaptation of Veronica Roth's novel. The Divergent "Winter Olympics Preview" spot to make the rounds gives us a few new peeks at the film...
Maybe itís because fans are burned out on YA adaptations. Maybe itís because theyíre sick of seeing teenage protagonists trying to upend society. Maybe theyíre just not buying into Shailene Woodley. I donít know what it is, but based on everything Iíve seen so far, itís time to admit the obvious.