Published On: Wed, Jan 3rd, 2018

Lionsgate cuts budget for ‘Ascendant’ after ‘Allegiant’ bombs at the box office

‘Divergent: Ascendant’ will reportedly receive a lesser production budget in comparison to previous releases in the series. Lionsgate’s move comes after the poor performance of ‘Allegiant’ in the box office. The final film’s premiere will also be competing against other potential blockbusters including ‘World War Z’ and ‘Wonder Woman’.

According to HitFix, Lionsgate suffered a major setback following the poor performance of ‘Allegiant’ at the box office. The third film in the hit science-fiction adventure franchise grossed $176.9 million worldwide against a budget of $110 million in comparison to ‘Insurgent’, which managed to rake in $297.2 million against the same budget.

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer admitted, “Maybe we rushed the third movie a bit instead of taking our time with it… We wanted to hit a date.” However, he vowed to set things right with the studio’s newer releases including the planned ‘Power Rangers’ reboot series.

According to the Variety, Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock commented that it may not be such a good strategy to pit ‘Ascendant’ with upcoming potential blockbuster films. The fourth and final installment is slated to premiere on June 9, 2017 – the same day as Universal’s ‘Dark Universe: The Mummy’ starring Tom Cruise and Paramount’s ‘World War Z 2’ starring Brad Pitt. It is also sandwiched between the release dates for DC and Warner Bros.’ ‘Wonder Woman’, 20th Century Fox’s ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ and Disney-Pixar’s ‘Cars 3’.

Bock said, “We now know [Ascendant] is not a box office behemoth… It’s not a summer release. The momentum is gone. In fact it’s at a grinding halt. You’ve got two huge franchises opening against and this one is dwindling. Unless they want another 40% drop, they have to change that date. They’ve got to start making good decisions, and one of those good decisions would be to move this.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources close to Lionsgate revealed that the studio plans to cut the budget for ‘Ascendant’, which is due to begin production in summer. A source said, “The budget for the next one will be reduced [compared to the previous film]… They haven’t said by how much.”

‘Divergent: Ascendant’ is an upcoming science-fiction adventure film intended as the final installment in the series based on the books by Veronica Roth. It stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James as the lead protagonists Tris and Four, respectively. It is directed by Lee Toland Krieger and produced by Lucy Fisher, Pouya Shahbaizan, and Douglas Wick.

photo/ Gerd Altmann via pixabay

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