Young Adult franchises have become one of the most easily reliable sources of income for movie studios. Established properties like The Hunger Games provide Hollywood with an easy means of developing a stable film series. However, not every YA franchise represents a guaranteed success. Projections for The Divergent Series: Allegiant’s opening weekend have just been revealed, and they don’t bode well for the third installment in the Divergent saga.

According to a new report from Variety, The Divergent Series: Allegiant is expected to win the box office this coming weekend. However, the projection also indicates that the YA adaptation will likely open somewhere between $34 million and $40 million, which would make it the worst opening for the series to date. The first installment in The Divergent Series opened to almost $55 million when it initially hit theaters, and the follow-up, The Divergent Series: Insurgent opened to $52.3 million last year.

Lionsgate needs to start thinking long and hard about whether or not there’s even a viable future in The Divergent Series films. The Divergent Series: Insurgent cost around $110 million to make, and the general consensus is that Allegiant maintained a similar price tag. Critical and commercial reception to the series has proven itself lukewarm – at best – and as such the franchise has become a potential money pit over the last couple of years.

It’s a shame to see the series struggling, considering the amount of prestige associated with the project. From up-and-coming stars like Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, to established Hollywood icons like Kate Winslet, there’s no absence of talent in the Divergent films. However, the films do so little to truly set themselves apart from other Young Adult adaptations such as The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner that it becomes incredibly difficult for audiences to justify spending their hard-earned money on a lackluster product.

Studios need to start understanding that audiences can recognize when they’ve seen something before. The Divergent Series films aren’t necessarily bad movies (OK, Allegiant might be bad), but they bring practically nothing new to the table. We don’t think the YA genre is going anywhere any time soon, but the signs of natural selection have begun to show themselves as weaker series start to flag and fail.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the trailer for The Divergent Series: Allegiant below:
What do you think of these projections? Will you see the next installment in The Divergent Series, or is it time to call it quits on this Young Adult franchise? We will bring you all of the latest and greatest information related to The Divergent Series: Allegiant as it becomes available to us, the film will hit theaters on March 18.
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