Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer is telling it like it is: his studio totally screwed up Allegiant, the third film in the once-successful Divergent series.
“Maybe we rushed the third movie a bit instead of taking our time with it,” said Feltheimer during a Thursday conference call with Wall Street analysts (via The Wrap). “We wanted to hit a date.”
Allegiant made $170 million worldwide on a steep budget of $110 million — off significantly from the YA franchises's first two entries, Divergent and Insurgent, which made $288 and $297 million, respectively. It also finished with a dismal 12% “Rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, far lower than Divergent's 40% and Insurgent's 29%.
According to a previous story in The Hollywood Reporter, Allegiant's performance was so disappointing that the studio cut the budget for Ascendant, the series' fourth and final installment. One unnamed executive quoted in that THR piece indicated that Lionsgate is notorious for rushing their films into the marketplace:
“To make their date, they were just racing forward,” this executive says. “The whole company is much more interested in delivering product than maintaining quality control. That's why there are so many bad movies being made there – because, unlike anywhere else I've ever worked, the whole thing is just, 'Move it forward, move it forward, move it forward.'”
And now they're on the hook for that damn fourth movie. Time to stop splitting these YA novels into two parts, methinks.
The Divergent Series: Ascendant is slated for release on June 9, 2017.