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Weekend Box Office Report: March 21-23, 2014

Mar. 23, 2014by:

Divergent leaps to the top!

The latest young-adult adaptation showed no fear at the box office this weekend as DIVERGENT opened with $56 million!

While it's not quite THE HUNGER GAMES or TWILIGHT opening numbers, Lionsgate must be breathing a small sigh of relief after a string of recent failed Hollywood attempts at creating movie franchises out of young-adult adaptations (VAMPIRE ACADEMY, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, THE HOST, THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, I AM NUMBER FOUR, ENDER'S GAME). The studio had release dates on the schedule for the DIVERGENT sequels before the first movie hit screens.

The $85 million movie from director Neil Burger (LIMITLESS) was a hit with paying crowds, who gave it a solid 'A' CinemaScore -- although the majority of opening weekend moviegoers were undoubtedly the source material's hardcore audience (we'll see if DIVERGENT pulls similar repeat-viewing business as the TWILIGHT or HUNGER GAMES series). Critics only found mediocrity in the personality-driven futuristic society, with an average of 40% on Rotten Tomatoes for the movie.

Opening in a distant second place was MUPPETS MOST WANTED with $16.5 million. The newest family flick featuring Kermit and company (including the Anti-Kermit) had some heavy competition above and below, and made a little more than half of what THE MUPPETS started with in November 2011 ($29.2 million, going on to $165 million worldwide). Critics and crowds both enjoyed their big-screen reunion with the famous fabric friends ('B+' CinemaScore and 77% on Rotten Tomatoes).

Last weekend's surging winner MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN dropped to third place with $11.7 million, nudging 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE to fourth with $8.6 million as it encroaches upon $100 million domestic and $300 million globally.

A surprise showing in fifth was the new evangelical indie GOD'S NOT DEAD with $8.5 million. The religious melodrama was released onto 780 screens and apparently targeted "Duck Dynasty" audiences for maximum impact (the series' stars cameo in the movie) to end up with a higher per-screen average than the three movies above it on the chart. (Not really sure why God's status is cause for concern in a nation that's something like 75% Christian -- especially after SON OF GOD just walked out of theaters with $55.6 million -- but I suppose that's a whole other discussion. For now, let's just applaud B-movie and cheese-TV regular Kevin Sorbo for having a major release in the Top 10!)

On the bottom half of the chart, the vehicular videogame movie NEED FOR SPEED was burning oil in sixth with $7.7 million, a deceleration of 56% from its opening. Wes Anderson's acclaimed THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL checked into 300 screens this week and went to the seventh floor with $6.7 million and (once again) the highest per-screen average on the list by a wide margin.

Liam Neeson's NON-STOP circled eighth place with $6.3 million as THE LEGO MOVIE builds to nearly $400 million worldwide and TYLER PERRY'S THE SINGLE MOMS CLUB barely hangs onto the bottom. Slipping off the chart were SON OF GOD and VERONICA MARS, while after a nearly inconceivable four-and-a-half months on the list, Disney's FROZEN finally fell out of the Top 10 -- on the same week it was released to home video and became the thirteenth of all-time biggest worldwide moneymakers.

Next weekend keeps the biblical themes going with filmmaker Darren Aronofsky's big-budget ark apocalypse NOAH, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in action with SABOTAGE. Speaking of ass-kicking, THE RAID 2 also hits screens, while Jason Bateman's R-rated comedy BAD WORDS expands nationwide.

What is your favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger performance? VOTE HERE!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. Divergent $56 M
NEW
2. Muppets Most Wanted $16.5 M
NEW
3. Mr. Peabody and Sherman $11.7 M $81 M
4. 300: Rise of an Empire $8.6 M $93.7 M
5. God's Not Dead $8.5 M
NEW
6. Need for Speed $7.7 M $30.4 M
7. The Grand Budapest Hotel $6.7 M $12.9 M
8. Non-Stop $6.3 M $78.6 M
9. The Lego Movie $4.1 M $243.3 M
10. Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club $3.1 M $12.9 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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9:34AM on 03/24/2014

Muppets missed the mark

As a long time fan of the Muppets I was very disappointed in Muppets: Most Wanted. Somewhere along the line the Muppets have missed what made them great: great humor and heart. This movie lacked both and I was really disappointed. I wish that Jason Segal would step away, he did his job of resurrecting them, and let the Muppets get back to their roots.
As a long time fan of the Muppets I was very disappointed in Muppets: Most Wanted. Somewhere along the line the Muppets have missed what made them great: great humor and heart. This movie lacked both and I was really disappointed. I wish that Jason Segal would step away, he did his job of resurrecting them, and let the Muppets get back to their roots.
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12:06PM on 03/24/2014
He did. Segel had nothing to do with Most Wanted. James Bobin though co-wrote Most Wanted movie and directed both of them. Nicholas Stoller co-wrote both of them too.
He did. Segel had nothing to do with Most Wanted. James Bobin though co-wrote Most Wanted movie and directed both of them. Nicholas Stoller co-wrote both of them too.
11:48PM on 03/23/2014

WHAT??

MUPPETS MOST WANTED was absolutely fantastic. PLEASE go see it and support these cinema treasures, this could be the last chance to see a new wonderful adventure from them for quite some time, possibly (and tragically) ever.
MUPPETS MOST WANTED was absolutely fantastic. PLEASE go see it and support these cinema treasures, this could be the last chance to see a new wonderful adventure from them for quite some time, possibly (and tragically) ever.
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10:54PM on 03/23/2014
Muppets should have done better, it was just as good as the last movie. I honestly thought that Divergent movie already came out already when I saw ads for it. Turns out I was confusing it with Mortal Instruments. All these movies look the same to me.
Muppets should have done better, it was just as good as the last movie. I honestly thought that Divergent movie already came out already when I saw ads for it. Turns out I was confusing it with Mortal Instruments. All these movies look the same to me.
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7:02PM on 03/23/2014
Fuck the idiots who saw Divergent and fuck the idiots who didn't see Muppets. I really hope Disney keeps them around for more movies.
Fuck the idiots who saw Divergent and fuck the idiots who didn't see Muppets. I really hope Disney keeps them around for more movies.
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6:40PM on 03/23/2014
The Grand Budapest Hotel was great even though I thought the running time was too short and that some of the characters weren't as fleshed out as they could have been. Anderson is definitely at the top of his game with this and Moonrise Kingdom and it was refreshing to see Fiennes do a comedic role for once. He was pitch perfect and his delivery was awesome. It's definitely one of Anderson's better films, but I still think Royal Tenenbaums is his best film up to date.

Next week looks great
The Grand Budapest Hotel was great even though I thought the running time was too short and that some of the characters weren't as fleshed out as they could have been. Anderson is definitely at the top of his game with this and Moonrise Kingdom and it was refreshing to see Fiennes do a comedic role for once. He was pitch perfect and his delivery was awesome. It's definitely one of Anderson's better films, but I still think Royal Tenenbaums is his best film up to date.

Next week looks great with Noah, Sabotage, and Bad Words all getting my money and time.
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6:11PM on 03/23/2014
I had never heard of Divergent until I saw the review for it a few days ago here. I didn't see a single ad or trailer for it, so seeing it make that kind of money is a total shock to me. Obviously I'm not in the demographic of the targeted audience, but all those other flops from Lionsgate are ones I recall seeing hyped up.
I had never heard of Divergent until I saw the review for it a few days ago here. I didn't see a single ad or trailer for it, so seeing it make that kind of money is a total shock to me. Obviously I'm not in the demographic of the targeted audience, but all those other flops from Lionsgate are ones I recall seeing hyped up.
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5:43PM on 03/23/2014
Very impressed with Frozen's performance. It had the longest streak in the Top 10 since Chicago in 2003; yes even longer than Avatar. It probably could've made more money if Disney postponed the home media release to April.
Very impressed with Frozen's performance. It had the longest streak in the Top 10 since Chicago in 2003; yes even longer than Avatar. It probably could've made more money if Disney postponed the home media release to April.
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4:53PM on 03/23/2014
Glad to see they settled on "God's not Dead." Some of the working titles were atrocious: What About God?, Gody Double, Hot God, Me Can You Here Me and of course Goddy Got Fingered
Glad to see they settled on "God's not Dead." Some of the working titles were atrocious: What About God?, Gody Double, Hot God, Me Can You Here Me and of course Goddy Got Fingered
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+2
3:54PM on 03/23/2014
From a business standpoint, teen books are a brilliant way to make money. Teens are easily influenced. Books are cheap to produce. Just hype the book in stores, hype it in school libraries, and do everything to create the guise of popularity. Then make a movie from the book and profit.
From a business standpoint, teen books are a brilliant way to make money. Teens are easily influenced. Books are cheap to produce. Just hype the book in stores, hype it in school libraries, and do everything to create the guise of popularity. Then make a movie from the book and profit.
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3:43PM on 03/23/2014

*belch*

save us cap!!! let the winter soldier wash away all this mediocrity.
save us cap!!! let the winter soldier wash away all this mediocrity.
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3:18PM on 03/23/2014
The Good: I'm going to see The Grand Budapest Hotel today.

The Bad: Just found out James Rebhorn passed away. He will be missed.
The Good: I'm going to see The Grand Budapest Hotel today.

The Bad: Just found out James Rebhorn passed away. He will be missed.
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2:35PM on 03/23/2014
Feel bad for The Muppets. They had such a huge turn around with Jason Segel spear heading it and now it seems the franchise will be thrown back into the vault making only 16 million this weekend.
Feel bad for The Muppets. They had such a huge turn around with Jason Segel spear heading it and now it seems the franchise will be thrown back into the vault making only 16 million this weekend.
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