Divergent Series Converging on the Silver Screen

Source: Summit Entertainment via IMDB.com

Source: Summit Entertainment via IMDB.com

Following in the footsteps of The Hunger Games franchise, Veronica Roth’s Divergent is set to hit the silver screen with a release date of March 21 as per Lionsgate (NYSE:LGF). The buzz surrounding the books is already loud enough, so the buzz for the film isn’t likely to disappoint.

Divergent is the first installment in the series of books, followed by Insurgent and Allegiant. So, like The Hunger Games franchise, there is likely a continuing set of films yet to come. The book, and thus film, follow the story of a young Beatrice Prior as she navigates the dystopian society in a post-war future Chicago.

Similar to The Hunger Games, the new society is divided into factions, though perhaps more similar to the five castes found in Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World. When the heroine, Beatrice, turns sixteen, she is forced to take the trial that all people of her age take, which sorts them out into one of the five factions based on key personality traits. However, Beatrice is a rare type of individual — called a divergent — who is able to overcome her fears and ends up not falling into any one faction. This is a dangerous thing to be, as divergents are supposed to be killed. The story progresses as Beatrice works her way through factions and discovers deep-seeded problems with the way society works.

Considering the book’s position on Amazon.com’s list of best selling books — it sits at No. 3 as of February 4, with Insurgent and Allegiant taking No. 7 and No. 10, respectively – there is little doubt that the film version will have a solid fanbase to give it an explosive premiere in theaters.

The Hunger Games had an undeniably strong fanbase going into the film series and a great sales record. When the film premiered, it took a staggering $152.5 million in its opening weekend, according to BoxOfficeMojo. It went on to make $408 million total in the U.S. Its succeeding film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, managed to do even better with an opening weekend of $158 million and a domestic total of $421.4 million.

Now, in the vacuum left between Catching Fire and Mockingjay – the next in the series – Divergent has a major opening to prove its box office appeal on the scale similar to, if not better than, the films of The Hunger Games franchise.

For better or worse, the real winner here is undeniably Lionsgate. As the company responsible for the film adaptations of both The Hunger Games franchise and the Divergent franchise, Lionsgate’s film division is going to be raking in cash for years to come, as Mockingjay is released in two parts and the entirety of the Divergent series hits the screen — assuming it’s successful enough for the producer to continue. See the trailer below.

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