Does 'Insurgent' Prove We're Over Young Adult Dystopians & Fantasy Adaptations? Let's Look At The Numbers
Remember when people used to camp outside in Edward Cullen faced sleeping equipment before the Twilight premieres? Or what about the absolute hysteria that preceded the Hunger Games release? If you're a fan of the Divergent films, you may notice that the hype for them just has not been the same and the box office numbers for Insurgent prove it. According to the Huffington Post, "While the second films in both the Hunger Games and the Twilight series boasted opening weekend gains over the first, Insurgent's opening nearly matches that of its predecessor, Divergent, which debuted to $54.6 million just last year."
No, that sentiment doesn't exactly scream "death sentence" or anything: $54.6 million is certainly a healthy number. But, what it does say, more generally than just a reflection on the Divergent films themselves, is that maybe this genre just ain't what it used to be. For instance, Entertainment Weekly reported that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire grossed $161.1 million in its opening weekend and Twilight: New Moon made $142.9 million. With those numbers in mind, Insurgent seems so measly in comparison. It's as if someone has let the air out of the Dystopian/Fantasy balloon.
The Huffington Post elaborates on this point, by quoting Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian as saying,
"It's really about driving a very fickle audience, that teen, YA — whatever you want to call them — they're really tough to get a handle on. Their tastes change like the wind. The key is keeping the young adult audience engaged, excited and enthusiastic."
But, as the site asserts, the ironic thing here is that it's still seen this as a triumphant turn out,
"...Both distributor Lionsgate and box office analysts see the consistency as a good thing. 'We're extremely pleased with the outcome,' said Lionsgate's President of Domestic Distribution Richie Fay.
It's true, to an extent. So long as they aren't losing major money and are pulling in big numbers like that, who can exactly be displeased? And, in comparison to the other movies it was competing with, Insurgent still did the best at the box office. But, how can you ignore just how much worse it did than the two similarly themed movies that also had trilogy books to accompany them? Just because Insurgent came in at number 1, doesn't mean that it was the same victory as Catching Fire or New Moon. In fact, it feels more like a default win than anything else. And is defaulting a win when films like this used to conquer really a win at all?