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Second film in \'Divergent\' series locks up top spot at the box office
Shailene Woodley, from left, Theo James and Ansel Elgort star in "The Divergent Series: Insurgent."
Four (Theo James, left), Tris (Shailene Woodley, center) and Peter (Miles Teller, right) in "The Divergent Series: Insurgent." (Andrew Cooper/Lionsgate/TNS)
In this image released by Lionsgate, Theo James, left, and Shailene Woodley appear in a scene from "The Divergent Series: Insurgent." (AP Photo/Lionsgate, Andrew Cooper)
Sean Penn\'s "The Gunman" was no match for the rebel kids of "Insurgent."
The second installment in the "Divergent" series easily topped the box office with $52.3 million from 3,875 theaters. Penn\'s geopolitical thriller stumbled with only $5 million at 2,816 locations.
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.
Audiences were young (55 percent younger than 25) and female (60 percent), although the ratio of males was higher than for the first "Divergent" film, based on the popular novels by Veronica Roth. "Insurgent," which follows a young woman (Shailene Woodley) fighting for freedom and survival in a dystopian society, also performed well overseas, taking in $47 million from 76 markets.
Disney\'s live-action "Cinderella," meanwhile, fell 49 percent in Week 2 to take second place with $35 million. The PG-rated film has earned an impressive $122 million domestically to date.
The second installment in the "Divergent" series really moves the story forward, a strong virtue in a book based on the middle installment of a trilogy. But the world of it is so ridiculous - far-fetched without being interesting - that the movie is at best a mixed bag. (PG-13) 116 minutes - Mick LaSalle
Kenneth Branagh retells the old story with most of the fairy-tale magic left intact but with the addition of a back-story and realistic motives. Every old and familiar element is done beautifully. But the movie grinds down in plot details that fatten the narrative while deflating the spirit. (PG) 112 minutes - M.L.
Liam Neeson is at his familiar best as a down-on-his-luck former hit man who has to protect his son from getting murdered by a mob boss over the course of one very long and dangerous night. (R) 114 minutes - M.L.
Sean Penn is a thinking man\'s action hero in this story of a former corporate assassin targeted for killing by mysterious forces. Directed by Peter Morel, who directed "Taken," the film contains superb action sequences. (R) 115 minutes - M.L.
An intermittently amusing riff on British spy movies, starring Colin Firth as a secret agent who takes a novice under his wing, "Kingsman" collapses into outlandish absurdity in its second half, sloppily careening from silliness to sentimentality. (R) 129 minutes - M.L.
A star-studded weeper about faith and how one comes to it, this could have been a better, more hopeful and embracing faith-based film. But as in "God\'s Not Dead," the screenwriters figure there\'s more money to be made from baiting and working up the faithful than in inspiring them. (PG-13) 118 minutes - Roger Moore, Tribune News Service
THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, xx1/2
This is an amusing diversion, despite being overlong and overloaded with predictable story lines. The fine ensemble (Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Judi Dench) enlivens even the low stakes with honesty, vulnerability and welcome doses of sex appeal - which also goes for newcomer Richard Gere, who exudes easy, spontaneous warmth as a last-minute Marigold guest. (PG) 122 minutes - Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
A movie about con artists that is, itself, a con. This supposed look into the world of bigtime swindling is a silly mess, with Will Smith as the master criminal and Margot Robbie as his protégé-lover. BD Wong\'s scene as an Asian businessman is the only thing worth taking from the wreckage. (R) 105 minutes - M.L.
Chappie comes into the world with the mind of a child, knowing nothing, but with an infinite capacity to learn quickly. This good sci-fi action movie becomes, at one level, a struggle for Chappie\'s soul. (R) 120 minutes - M.L.
The gags, puns mostly, skew quite young. And those things SpongeBob does that drive his onscreen castmates nuts - the shrieks and giggles and songs - are pitched to be a lot more irritating to adults than to small fry. (PG) 90 minutes - R.M.
Kevin Costner plays a track coach in a poverty-ridden high school. The film combines the usual sports story with an immersion into the immigrant experience of Mexican field workers in California. Heartwarming. (PG) 129 minutes - M.L.
Clint Eastwood has directed a sly war film that, on the surface, is a laudatory biography of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in American history, but is, in fact, a shrewd critique of the warrior mentality. It\'s balanced and well-made, with some extraordinary war scenes. Bradley Cooper excels. (R) 132 minutes - M.L.
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