Despite the fact the first film is still set to debut in March, Lions Gate surprised industry watchers recently by confirming the release date of the third movie, Allegiant, which is now slated to hit theaters on March 18, 2016.
But while Lions Gate is certainly making a statement by setting Allegiant's date so far in advance, some are wondering why it hasn't announced plans to split the film in two. After all, that's what they've done with the final books for their other significant novel-based franchises in both Twilight and The Hunger Games. So, like it or not, it seems reasonable to assume they'd want to do the same with Allegiant this time around.
But according to the Fool's Steve Symington in the following video, Lions Gate is likely just being prudent until it gets a better idea of exactly how well audiences respond to Divergent this March.
And remember, Steve says, while Divergent's production budget hasn't been officially confirmed, analysts have estimated it to be in the $80 million range. That's on par with the $78 million Lions Gate spent to bring The Hunger Games to life in March 2012. As a result, and considering Lions Gate increased the budget for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to $130 million after the first film proved a huge success, it's safe to assume we'll see something similar happen if Divergent proves anywhere near as lucrative.
To hear Steve's full take on what this means for both Divergent fans and Lions Gate investors going forward, check out the video below.