Lionsgate to Cut 'Ascendant' Budget After 'Allegiant' Box Office Flop

Lionsgate is cutting the budget for the next movie in the Divergent franchise.

After Allegiant flopped in the box office, Lionsgate is planning on cutting the budget for the final movie in the Divergent series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. From The Hollywood Reporter:

“The budget for the next one will be reduced [compared to the previous film>,” a well-placed production source tells The Hollywood Reporter. “They haven’t said by how much,” the source adds, but it is expected several millions of dollars will be trimmed at the very least.

Sources estimate Allegiant’s budget at $110 million. The upcoming picture is still being written and no final budget has yet been determined.

Allegiant suffered a major box office blow as the movie had a disappointing box office debut. The Atlanta filmed Allegiant, the third of four teen sci-fi movies in Lionsgate’s The Divergent Series, earned a little over $30 million during the opening weekend. That is well under the debut’s of 2014’s Divergent ($54.6 million) and last year’s “Insurgent” ($52.2 million). The original film took in $22.7 million on its first Friday, the sequel $21.1 million while, Allegiant only earned $11.9 million on Friday. According to The Wrap, bad reviews and fatigue with both the young adult genre and the franchise are affecting Allegiant, the first of two movies based on the final book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. Audiences gave the movie a “B” CinemaScore. That’s better than the critics, who have it at a dismal 10 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes. There are no reports as to how the budget cuts will affect Atlanta's film industry. But, this news comes as Lionsgate's stock price fell 4% after the news was released of the poor box office numbers.
Lionsgate shares opened on the New York Stock Exchange down 97 cents, or 4 percent, at $21.68. As of 9:45 a.m. ET, they were down 2.3 percent. On Friday they closed at $22.62. Over the past year, the stock has traded as low as $16.21 and as high as $41.41. [THR]
Allegiant's underperformance follows several box office flops for the movie studio. Recently, Gods of Egypt, The Last Witch Hunter and Mortdecai all flopped in the box office and according to sources close to The Hollywood Reporter, investors are nervous about the future of the movie studio and their history of producing Young Adult film adaptations. Apparently, the studio has been unable to repeat the blockbuster success of the Twilight and The Hunger Games film franchises. Allegiant stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Zoë Kravitz, Maggie Q, Ray Stevenson, Daniel Dae Kim, Bill Skarsgård, Octavia Spencer and Naomi Watts. series. The dystopian fantasy adventure is directed by Robert Schwentke and was produced by Lucy Fisher, Pouya Shabazian, and Douglas Wick and made for a reported $110 million. Filming is expected to take place in Atlanta, Georgia in the next few months. This is bad news for so many actors and crew members who live and survive off of the Divergent film franchise and Atlanta film industry. If Lionsgate decides to severely cut the next movie's budget, it may leave many people unemployed.