Friday Report: 'Divergent' Scores $22.8 Million, 'God's Not Dead' Surprises

by Ray Subers

March 22, 2014

Young-adult adaptation Divergent got off to a strong start yesterday, and is now on pace for an opening weekend north of $50 million. Meanwhile, Christian drama God's Not Dead is shaping up to be a surprise box office hit.

Playing at 3,936 locations, Divergent opened to an estimated $22.8 million on Friday. That includes $4.9 million from late Thursday shows. While that opening day figure is nowhere close to Twilight ($36 million) or The Hunger Games ($67.3 million), it's still one of the best young-adult debuts ever.

If Divergent plays like The Hunger Games, it will wind up with around $52 million for the weekend. That seems likely, given the demographic breakdown: the movie attracted more men than expected (41 percent), and was split evenly between those over and under 25 years of age. Combine that with an "A" CinemaScore, and Divergent may not be as frontloaded as its genre and poor reviews suggested.

Opening at 3,194 theaters, Muppets Most Wanted disappointed with $4.7 million. In comparison, the last Muppets movie earned $6.5 million on its opening day. For the weekend, Muppets Most Wanted could wind up below $15 million.

Christian drama God's Not Dead opened to a surprising $2.8 million. That's more in one day than Grace Unplugged, The Grace Card, The Christmas Candle and The Ultimate Life made in their entire runs. The movie should earn over $7 million for the weekend, which is better than legendary Christian hit Fireproof.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman
plummeted 50 percent to $2.7 million. 300: Rise of An Empire rounded out the Top Five with $2.4 million (down 58 percent).

The Grand Budapest Hotel
expanded to 304 locations and earned $1.9 million. For the weekend, the Wes Anderson movie is poised to earn at least $5 million.

Weekend Projections:
1. Divergent - $53 million
2. Muppets - $15 million
3. Mr. Peabody - $9.5 million
4. God's Not Dead - $8.1 million
5. 300 - $7.9 million

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Related Stories:
Forecast: 'Divergent' Leaps Into Theaters—Will It Be the Next YA Hit?

Related Chart:
Grosses for Friday, March 21, 2014

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