‘Allegiant’ lacks the box-office oomph of other ‘Divergents’

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Ansel Elgort, left, and Shailene Woodley in “The Divergent Series: Allegiant.” | Summit Entertainment

Moviegoers didn’t pledge their allegiance to the latest “Divergent” installment.

“Allegiant,” the third movie in the young-adult franchise, managed only $29.1 million its first weekend, according to studio estimates from comScore. That’s just over half the opening takes of the series’ “Divergent” ($54.6 million) in 2014 and last year’s “Insurgent” ($52.3 million), both of which also opened in March.

Shailene Woodley and Theo James lead the dystopian adventure/romance, which is adapted from the third book in Chicago author Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” series. Octavia Spencer, Jeff Daniels and Naomi Watts joined the franchise ranks for “Allegiant,” although added star power wasn’t enough to draw in crowds.

RELATED: Bill Zwecker reviews “Allegiant”

“Younger audiences change their mind like the weather, and it’s very hard to gauge interest,” says comScore senior box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “I can’t fault the release date or the marketing plan — they followed exactly what was successful the past couple years. It may just be the conditions of the marketplace,” with other hit films such as “Deadpool” and “10 Cloverfield Lane” competing for teen and young-adult moviegoers.

The fourth and final movie, “Ascendant,” is scheduled for release in June 2017, which could bode well for a stronger start. “It’s a different type of month for its box-office potential,” Dergarabedian adds. “It being the last one also carries a bit of cachet” and could drum up additional interest.

“Zootopia” again ruled the jungle with a No. 1 finish and $38 million, bringing its North American tally to $201.8 million in just 17 days. Disney’s animated animal comedy has dominated the box office for three weeks straight, netting a combined international haul of $591.7 million.

“It’s just been a juggernaut — I don’t know that anyone thought it’d do this well,” Dergarabedian says. “With few other choices for that family audience since ‘Kung Fu Panda 3,’ it’s benefitting from a perfect release date and great word-of-mouth.”

Rounding out the top five, “Miracles from Heaven” came in third with a divine $15 million for the weekend and $18.6 million since its Wednesday opening. The Christian drama is adapted from Christy Beam’s memoir of the same name and stars Jennifer Garner as a mother whose young daughter is cured from a chronic illness after a near-death experience.

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