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Lions Gate In Box Office Battle as 'Allegiant' Sees Challenge From Disney's 'Zootopia'

Lions Gate In Box Office Battle as 'Allegiant' Sees Challenge From Disney's 'Zootopia'

The end is near for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) (NYSE: LGF)'s "Divergent" franchise which will wrap in 2017, but the first part of its finale will hit theaters this weekend and face an unexpected challenge.

The opening weekend for the previous films in the "Divergent" series have been solid but not as spectacular as studio sibling "The Hunger Games." Yet those $50 million openings are going to look amazing next to a potential $30 million haul for "Allegiant."

Investors are likely not as surprised by the lower projections as readers of the popular series didn't react a well to the last book in the Veronica Roth trilogy. Still, as they did with "Hunger Games," Lions Gate executives decided to go the two film route with follow-up "Ascendant" set for 2017.

Related Link: 'Zootopia' Passes $100 Million In Just 8 Days; How Does It Compare To The Biggest Animated Films?

"Allegiant" carries a $90 million budget, which is actually less than the $110+ million that was associated with previous film "Insurgent." After seeing "Gods of Egypt" flop last month Lions Gate would love to have a hit here and see "Allegiant" buck expectations.

The problem is Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS)'s mighty "Zootopia," which in its third week has done nothing but surprise. The animated hit has amassed over $150 million and is on track for a $35 million weekend, which puts it in a head-to-head battle with "Allegiant" for the top spot.

"Zootopia" has been one of 2016's biggest hits and another record-breaker that is outpacing fellow Disney success stories "Frozen" and "Big Hero 6."

Posted-In: Allegiant Big Hero 6 Divergent ZootopiaNews Previews Events Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga


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