Monday, April 15, 2024

SUNDAY UPDATE Box Office: “Divergent” Falls Short with $56 Mil


UPDATE SUNDAY 12:30PM “Divergent” actually made only $56 million, falling way short of expectations.

EARLIER I knew “The Hunger Games.” And “Divergent,” you are no “Hunger Games. ”

Indeed, “Divergent” made $22 million last night. The tween action hit, first in a series, will be happy with a $60 million weekend. But it is no “Hunger Games.” The first of those films made $67 million on its opening night, one night, baby. “Divergent” is going to make a fraction of what “The Hunger Games”
made, but no one’s sneezing at it. The budget was around $100 million. Lions Gate will make money. Maybe for part 2, “Detergent” or whatever it’s called, they can make a better movie.

Last night Brian Williams featured a women’s book club on “NBC Nightly News” that not only read “Divergent” but talked about it like it was the tablets from the mount. Williams sounded very thrilled at the discovery that women in their 20s and 30s were reading a Young Adult book. I find it very discouraging, actually. Was public education for that generation so bad that adults can only handle books written for teenagers? Considering all the great female writers of adult level books– from Margaret Atwood to Doris Lessing, Nadine Gordimer, not to mention Mary Gordon, Laurie Colwin, Lorrie Moore, and so on–I’d like to hope for more sophistication, not less, from this readership.

Meanwhile. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is steaming along — a big hit, and for more sophisticated enjoyment. And “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” is chugging along, I’m sure much to the delight of Jay Ward’s heirs. I really miss the Bullwinkle store on Sunset Boulevard across from the Chateau Marmont. I hope you can buy the original “Sherman and Mr. Peabody” shows and “Rocky and Bullwinkle” on DVD. But it was such a pleasure in the early 90s. I think it’s a taco stand now.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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