Lionsgate Vows To Make ‘Better’ Film Franchises After Theo James And Shailene Woodley’s ‘Allegiant’ Fails To Impress

Note: This post contains spoilers

Three months after the release of Allegiant, the film’s ratings at Rotten Tomatoes remain a dismal 12 percent. The film only earned $29 million despite its budget of $110 million. Allegiant’s earnings pale in comparison with what its predecessors have raked in. As reported by Cinema Blend, Lionsgate executive Jon Feltheimer said the film’s lackluster result was because of the studio’s race with time.

“Maybe we rushed the third movie a bit instead of taking our time with it. We wanted to hit a date.”

Theo James and Shailene Woodley’s charisma failed to attract viewers, but this only inspired Lionsgate to do better. The top exec promised that they’d work harder on future film franchises. He cited Power Rangers as an example. Lionsgate reportedly foresees doing up to seven films for the franchise.

There’s one more Divergent film left. It will be titled Divergent Series: Ascendant, and it will further explore Tris and Four’s life beyond the fence. Some are wondering if Allegiant’s box office performance will also prompt producers to change the final film’s ending.

allegiant film poster
In Veronica Roth’s trilogy, Tris and Four are not able to get their own happy ending after Tris opts to sacrifice her life instead of Caleb’s in a suicide mission that needs to happen for their plan to be successful.

tris and caleb allegiant
Readers were so devastated when Tris died that some even managed to put up a petition. It amassed more than 2,600 signatures from fans who believe that “Tris and Tobias deserve to succeed and be together at the end of it all.”

Some preferred the alternate ending written by a fan named Stephanie Ziel. While the alternate story matches most of the scenes that took place in the book, the ending didn’t kill Tris. The Divergent heroine survived but she had her memory erased. It then became Four’s mission to help her recover, which she eventually did after being kissed.

Despite the outcry from fans, Roth was firm with her decision. A few days after the release of the final book, Roth penned a lengthy post to address the views of upset fans. She said that the ending had been set from the beginning and that it wasn’t a decision made on impulse just to shock everyone. As opposed to the accusations the writer received, she never meant to be ruthless with her characters.

For Roth, Tris’ death was significant for it proved her selflessness. After Caleb’s betrayal, Tris was still able to make the ultimate sacrifice for her brother.

“She was still struggling with her beliefs about selflessness – but this time, she was wondering whether Caleb, when he volunteered to go on the one-way mission to the Weapons Lab, was motivated by love or guilt. She struggled with whether it was ethical to let Caleb’s sacrifice happen throughout the rest of the book.”

For those who are wondering about Theo and Shailene’s reactions, they were fine with Tris dying. Theo even described his on-screen girlfriend to Buzzfeed as a “semi-Christ figure.”

“I thought it was a natural — I thought it totally made sense. Her whole philosophy in life is selflessness and giving. She’s almost like a semi-Christ figure in that way. She’s endlessly selfless, and it seems like an obvious, natural course for her to give her life for the sake of others.”

Shailene, on the other hand, was “stoked.” She told Entertainment Weekly that it was powerful of Roth to not create a mainstream ending that’s common in most young adult books.

“I love that she didn’t sort of buy into the breakdown of what most young adult books, like, the outline of what’s happened in previous young adult books. Men die all the time in films – heroes do. But a lot of sweet heroines don’t. And so I thought it was a very powerful, profound decision on her part. And I really love that she had the courage and the bravery to do that.”

The Divergent Series: Ascendant comes out on March 27, 2017.

[Image via Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images]