The blitz is on for “Divergent,” which Lions Gate releases this Friday. The $100 million sci fi thriller is hoped to be a a new franchise a la “The Hunger Games.” Indeed, from the trailers, it seems just like “The Hunger Games.” In this version, Shailene Woodley and Theo James play similar roles to Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth. “The Hunger Games” has made hundreds of millions of dollars as it captivates the young adult tween audience.
Or will “Divergent” turn out to be “Ender’s Game”? Lions Gate thought that sci-fi thriller would be a big success. It was not. With Harrison Ford and no YA appeal particularly, “Ender’s Game” made just $61 mil domestically and another $50.5 million in foreign places. It also cost around $110 million not including promotion etc.
One big problem for “Divergent” is bad reviews. They’ve started pouring in this morning. Variety and THR didn’t like it, and the bloggers on Rotten Tomatoes don’t seem happy about it either. Variety noted the movie’s “uncertain sense of setting, bloated plot, drab visual style.” They didn’t care much for the leads, either.
“Divergent” also features Oscar winner Kate Winslet in her first big budget paycheck part since “Titanic.” I don’t blame her for wanting to make a living.
Unless “Divergent” is resurgent with teens who don’t read reviews, this could be a rough Friday at Lions Gate.