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'Divergent' wins big; 'Muppets' not wanted

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"Divergent" devoured the competition, as expected, at the box office. Shailene Woodley and Theo James take over in fine fashion as plenty of factions showed up to see them.

"Divergent" took in a hefty $56 million. It built on the big Friday with a super Saturday and left the others in its wake, primarily the other newcomer, "Muppets Most Wanted." Seems like the Muppets were not wanted as it came in lower than projected. Hey, it's not animated. With "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" still strong, it took a bite out of the same Muppet crowd.

"Divergent" was not going to equal the openers of other franchise films such as "Twilight" and "Hunger Games." It really did not have to to launch its trilogy. But, because it did not, there will be those detractors.

Weekend
1. "Divergent" - $56 million
2. "Muppets Most Wanted" - $16.4 million
3. "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" - $11.7 million

4. "300: Rise of an Empire" - $8.66 million

5. "God's Not Dead" - $8.5 million

If one wants to hate on movies like "Divergent" and even "Twilight" and "Hunger Games," try saving some for the over-abundance of superhero flicks. If movies for the young adults tend to ruffle some feathers, so should that. One cannot get though the day without talk of another one in production or hitting the big screen. When will that reach its saturation point?

The next installment, "Insurgent" has been green-lighted and should arrive in March 2015.

Plus, never-mind "Muppets Most Wanted" in the second spot, the other story of the weekend box office is "God's Not Dead." One more film that surprised or will do so to many in Hollywood. It is about a college student (Shane Harper) who sets out to prove God's existence. It grossed $2.8 million in just 780 theaters on Friday. Kevin Sorbo, David A.R. White and Willie Robertson of TV's “Duck Dynasty” co-star in the film. The surprise is that because of its theme, it did well. Oh well, another Hollywood miscue.

Hollywood would rather tout "Nymphomaniac: Volume 1" than "God's Not Dead." The first movie, in only 24 theaters, was able to grab more headlines than "God's Not Dead," which landed in 780. Maybe that will change now.

"God's Not Dead" is not "Noah," which opens March 28, which plays loosely with the Biblical figure. It plays him as more of an environmentalist and less of a God-fearing man. It also uses Creator and not the actual word God. "Noah" will surely drown out "God's Not Dead" next weekend, but because of the tone of the two, tracking the pros and cons will be interesting. It will most likely fall down the typical political party lines.

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" continues to impress with its per screen averages, too.

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