"Divergent's" opening weekend is already off to a great start. The first installment of what is now guaranteed to be a franchise earned $4.9 million in Thursday night screenings, and Summit Entertainment officially ordered the planned sequel, "Insurgent."
The sequel to the Shailene Woodley-led YA adaptation was previously scheduled for a March 2015 release date with director Robert Schwentke ("R.I.P.D.") taking over for Neil Burger and a script by Brian Duffield and Akiva Goldsman, and now quick follow-up has been officially greenlighted.
This puts the series on-track for the previous plan of one installment a year, and if all goes according to schedule, the series will close out with "Allegiant" in 2016.
Based on early box office estimations, according to The Hollywood Reporter, "Divergent" on-pace for a possible $60 million weekend. That would make it the second biggest opening of the year behind "The LEGO Movie."
"We're off to a great start with strong numbers from all regions of the country, urban, suburban and rural alike," said Jon Feltheimer, the CEO of Summit's parent company, Lionsgate, in a statement. "We're confident that 'Divergent' is on its way to becoming another important franchise for us, and we have just greenlighted the second film, 'Insurgent.' "
Summit and Lionsgate were keen to find another successful YA series to bank now that the "Twilight Saga" is over and "The Hunger Games" will be ending next year.
The films are based on the hit series of YA novels by Veronica Roth and tell the story of a young heroine living in a society split up into personality-based factions.
"Divergent" is in theaters now.