“Insurgent” to take top spot in weekend box office

“Insurgent” will sweep the North American box office from Friday (March 20) through Sunday (March 22). Shailene Woodley as “Divergent” heroine Tris Prior is hell-bent on revenge, battling the ghosts of her past in “Insurgent,” the second film in the young adult sci-fi action film franchise. “Insurgent” picks up where the first film in the dystopian series ended, with the genocide of Tris’ parents and the people in her faction after she joins another community. Traumatized by the slaughter, Tris sets her mind on killing the calculating ruler Jeanine, played by Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet, who orchestrated the mass murder.

The “Divergent” series follows a post-apocalyptic world that has been divided into five factions, each defined by character traits: wisdom, honesty, selflessness, kindness and bravery. The film has received mixed reviews, with Michael O’Sullivan from the Washington Post saying “Although Woodley is adequate at emoting – Tris being something of a basket case of guilt, self-loathing and teenage hormones – many of the other characters here are, by definition, one-dimensional.”

Also opening this weekend is thriller “The Gunman” starring two-time Oscar-winner Sean Penn as a traumatized war veteran-turned-mercenary, on the run from his shady past and ex-employer. The film is expected to earn 7.5 million dollars in North America. “The Gunman” has received mixed reviews. Forbes said “The Gunman is beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside,” while the San Francisco Chronicle said “It succeeds, partly because the moral climate it presents seems so confused, but mainly because of Penn’s particular aura of irascible integrity.”

Religious film “Do you believe?” will open this weekend and is expected to bring in 6.5 million in North America. The film follows a pastor who is shaken by the faith of a preacher. His life intersects with the lives of various community members, each questioning their faith in religion. The film has not been widely reviewed.

“Cinderella” is expected to be the lead holdover from last weekend’s box office, adding another 37.8 million to its global haul of 140 million; “Run all Night” is estimated to take in another 6.3 million to its worldwide take of 19 million.