For the second weekend in a row, young girls packed movie houses while their fathers ignored new R-rated thrillers. Leading the pack this weekend was Insurgent, which grossed an estimated $54 million. That is slightly below the $54.6 million that Divergent began with exactly one year ago. Considering the muted response to its predecessor – the film only has a 6.8 user rating on IMDb – and competition from Cinderella, that is a solid start to the young adult adaptation. Regardless, with 3D surcharges and more interest in 2014 breakout stars Ansel Elgort and Miles Teller, some expected the film to easily best Divergent‘s initial sum.
Nervetheless, that is still a fine total. Remember: the first sequel in the Harry Potter franchise, Chamber of Secrets, made less in its opening weekend ($88.4) than Sorcerer’s Stone ($90.3 million). While sequels have a certain rush-out factor, Insurgent was actually less front-loaded than Divergent. It made an estimated $21.3 on Friday, or about 39% of its total weekend take. (Divergent‘s opening day of $22.8 million was 42% of its first weekend, in comparison.) Meanwhile, the film’s $47 opening overseas indicates that this follow-up will do much better internationally than the first outing. An A- CinemaScore means the audience – that unsurprisingly skewed young (55% under 25) and female (a reported 60% of crowds) – are enjoying Insurgent more than critics, including ours.
As teenage girls invited Tris and Four with open arms, Cinderella still danced to good numbers, with a reasonable drop in second place. Earning another $34.5 million, the Disney hit dipped 49%, which is a better hold than last summer’s Maleficent. (The Angelina Jolie-led film also faced competition from a YA adaptation with Shailene Woodley, The Fault in Our Stars, and slipped 51% on its sophomore weekend.)
With Insurgent occupying screens, the fairy tale did drop a bit more than other Disney behemoths from March, including Alice in Wonderland (-46%) and Oz the Great and Powerful (-48%). Still, if Cinderella can hold well against family release Home next weekend, it should be able to make it to the $200 million mark, due to minimal competition through April. The film currently has $122 million, only slightly less than Maleficent made through the same period. (That title eventually topped $240 million domestically.)