Reflecting on the accelerated production timeline of The Divergent Series, which is now primed for its swan song with next year’s Ascendant, Lionsgate has fessed up to rushing Robert Schwentke’s Allegiant out the gate in order to ensure the threequel landed in a similar March release window to that of its two predecessors.
Middling reviews – including our own – really painted the picture for the studio’s top brass, and in a frank assessment of the Divergent franchise, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer conceded that, “maybe we rushed the third movie a bit instead of taking our time with it. We wanted to hit a date.”
Sticking to a similarly annual rollout to that of The Hunger Games – only with a fraction of the box office returns – the writing was on the wall for Allegiant when the sci-fi sequel pulled in a meagre $70 million on home turf. For comparison sake, both Divergent and Insurgent stormed past $120 million at the domestic box office.
Lionsgate’s bullish forecast for its big-screen rendition of Veronica Roth’s novels also had an impact on the creative side of things, when it was revealed that Schwentke would not be returning to helm Ascendant as originally planned. At the time of writing, that’s a director’s chair that remains vacant, and following Allegiant‘s meek financial haul, The Divergent Series looks set to go out on a whimper, rather than a bang, when Ascendant closes the book on June 9, 2017.
In related news, Feltheimer is confident Lionsgate’s Power Rangers can spawn a franchise of up to seven movies – let’s just hope the studio’s team takes heed of Divergent‘s diminishing returns.
Source: The Wrap