Monday, March 24, 2014

Divergent wins box-office weekend

After the flops of Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments, and Vampire Academy, it looked like Hollywood was having a tough time finding the next YA franchise in the wake of Twilight and The Hunger Games. The next hit is here in Divergent. Based on the first book in a trilogy by Veronica Roth, it's about a dystopian future where citizens must choose a faction to side with, and Shailene Woodley (The Descendents, The Spectacular Now) is the young women who doesn't quite fit in with any, making her a Divergent.  I wonder if the makers of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are going to quickly find a way to edit her as Mary Jane Watson back into their movie. Maybe a cameo? (She'll be prominent in Spidey 3.)

Muppets Most Wanted wasn't a flop, but you couldn't call it a hit either. Modest budgets are the way to proceed with this group.

The indie film God's Not Dead struck a chord with viewers of faith. Maybe Hollywood's going to be warmer to the idea of main characters having religion (and maybe get bigger stars than Kevin Sorbo and Dean Cain to play them). The big budgets given to Darren Aronofksy's Noah (opening Friday) and Ridley Scott's Exodus (opening in December) are a good sign they already have. (Let's see what the Wachowskis or Mel Gibson would do with Joseph in Egypt. Who's with me?)

Mr. Peabody & Sherman has made $100 million overseas, and Fox will need that overseas money to make a profit, as the domestic well looks like it'll be drying soon.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is still a juggernaut on the small screen. Veronica Mars fell 75% in its second week. Fans of the cult show saw the movie, and no one else.  Bad Words, the directorial debut of Jason Bateman, is losing momentum and probably won't open as wide as intended a couple weeks ago.

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