The Divergent Series: Allegiant

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The Divergent Series: Allegiant
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Schwentke
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onAllegiant
by Veronica Roth
Music byJoseph Trapanese
CinematographyFlorian Ballhaus
Edited byStuart Levy
Distributed byLionsgate
Release date
  • March 8, 2016 (2016-03-08) (Bangkok)
  • March 18, 2016 (2016-03-18) (United States)
Running time
121 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$110-142 million[2][3]
Box office$179.2 million[4]

The Divergent Series: Allegiant (simply known as Allegiant) is a 2016 American dystopian science fiction action film directed by Robert Schwentke with a screenplay by Bill Collage, Adam Cooper, and Noah Oppenheim, and the third and final part in The Divergent Series. It was set to be the first of two cinematic parts based on the final novel of the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth (the second part was to be Ascendant).

The film stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Zoë Kravitz, Maggie Q, Ray Stevenson, Bill Skarsgård, Octavia Spencer, and Naomi Watts. Set in a post-apocalyptic and dystopian Chicago, the story follows Tris Prior, her boyfriend Four, and their small group of friends escaping over the wall that enclosed the city. Once outside, however, they discover new truths that will shift their alliances and introduce new threats.

Principal photography primarily took place in Atlanta, Georgia from May 2015 until August that same year. The film was initially titled The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1, however, in September 2015, Part 1 was renamed Allegiant and Part 2 as Ascendant. Allegiant was released on March 18, 2016, in theaters and IMAX and received generally negative reviews from critics, who criticized the lack of originality, character development, and the decision to split the film into two parts. The film was a box office bomb, grossing just $179 million worldwide against its estimated budget of $110–142 million, becoming the lowest-grossing film in The Divergent Series. Following budget cuts, a theatrical release for Ascendant was dropped in favor of reconfiguring the project as a television film for Starz that would be followed by a spinoff series. Both projects were later cancelled, effectively ending the franchise.


After Evelyn forbids any citizen from leaving, she announces that all Erudite members involved in the previous coup attempt are to be put on trial and executed if they are found guilty. Tris and Four rescue Caleb from execution and try to escape over the wall, along with Tori, Peter, and Christina. The group is ambushed by Edgar, who kills Tori, but the group escapes and pass the wall. However, it is intercepted by soldiers with advanced weaponry who take the group to the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, a city of advanced technology that is hidden behind a cloaking shield. After undergoing decontamination, they learn that years ago, the UN believed that society's problems were caused by "damaged genes". In an attempt to create a better society, it began to alter people's genes, which eventually led to the Purity Wars and the destruction of most of the planet. To try to reverse the destruction, a series of "experiments" was set up in an attempt to repair the mistake, which established isolated cities across the remains of the world.

Tris and Four are tested by Matthew and Nita to verify and to study their Divergence. Tris is shown to be truly Divergent and the first Chicago Divergent to be 100% genetically pure, but Four's genetic structure indicates that his genes still carry damage. Caleb and Peter are assigned to surveillance teams that remotely monitor Chicago, and Christina and Four are assigned to the military. Matthew then brings Tris to the leader of the Bureau, David, who gives Tris a device that allows her to view her foster mother's memories. She sees that her mother had been rescued from the wastelands as a child before she volunteered to join the Chicago experiment out of dedication to the project. In return for his help in restoring peace to Chicago in which David claims only the council to have the power to intervene, Tris agrees to help David continue the experiment.

Meanwhile, Four and Christina train with Nita. They join the military on a rescue mission to a nearby wasteland village, but Four mistrusts the Bureau's intentions after he realizes that they are simply kidnapping children and wiping their memories with amnesia gas. Four also attempts to warn Tris of the Bureau's intentions, but they are interrupted by a video call from David. Caleb warns Four of a rapidly-escalating conflict back in Chicago between Johanna's group of Allegiants and Evelyn's Factionless. Four appeals to Tris for her to return to Chicago with him to end the bloodshed. However, she decides to go with David, who agrees to reinsert Four into Chicago under the escort of Matthew and some Bureau soldiers. Once in the air, Matthew quietly reveals to Four that the flight is a trap, and he is meant to be killed. A skirmish breaks out, and Four defeats all of the soldiers, but the transport crashes as a result. Matthew gives Four a device to allow passage through the cloaking shield, and Four proceeds to Chicago. Matthew remains behind to be rescued by the Bureau and warn Tris.

Meanwhile, Tris disagrees with the council's objectives and criticizes their refusal to stop the violence in Chicago. The council responds that David has full power to intervene whenever he desires, revealing his lies. During the return flight to the Bureau, Tris ends her partnership. Upon her return, she gathers Caleb and Christina in David's hovercar to return to Chicago. Nita helps them escape and reveals that David's rule is not popular with everyone in the Bureau. Four is captured by the factionless and confronts Evelyn to end the violence. Tris, Caleb, and Christina arrive to find the city tearing itself apart at the opening stage of a full assault by the Allegiant. Back at the Bureau, David makes a deal with Peter in exchange for Peter's promotion and inserts him into Chicago to convince Evelyn to deploy a hidden Bureau stockpile of amnesia gas to wipe the memories of the attackers and to force a peace in her favor to which she agrees; Peter takes her to a hidden vault.

After rescuing Four, Tris and Christina fight through the Factionless and arrive at the vault. At the vault door, Four convinces Evelyn to stop the gas attack, as he would not remember her if she carries it out. She capitulates and stops the release but is shot in the leg by a frustrated Peter, who gloats until the same gas starts flooding the vault as well. Realizing David has betrayed him, Peter opens the vault so that Tris and Four can stop the gas release. Peter flees back towards the cloaking shield, as Four vows to find and kill Peter.

Caleb arrives and aids Tris in destroying the gas dispersion hub, which stops the release. The group gathers atop the Erudite building as it watches David's shuttle, which autopilots back towards the Bureau and is heavily laden with explosives. Tris transmits a message to the whole world that reveals to them the existence of the Bureau and that Chicago was an experiment in genetic purity. Her message to the Bureau is that Chicago is no longer their experiment but now the home of its citizens. Caleb detonates the explosives at the end of the message, which tear a massive hole through the cloak wall and reveal the Bureau. As the group watches, David's image is revealed to stand behind Tris via a Bureau remote viewing device.


Shailene Woodley and Theo James play the lead roles in the film


Initially intended as a single film based on Allegiant,[5] the producers of The Divergent Series later decided to adapt the novel into two films, similar to what has been done with other young adult novel series adapted into films.[6] The two proposed films were originally titled Allegiant — Part One and Allegiant — Part Two; this was later dropped in favor of assigning the films unique names (Allegiant and Ascendant, respectively).[7]

By March 2015, all of the series cast members had confirmed their involvement,[8] with newcomers Jeff Daniels and Bill Skarsgård added to the cast that April and May, respectively.[9][10]

Filming began on May 18, 2015, in Atlanta, Georgia,[11][12] and concluded on August 23, 2015. From June 11 to June 23, filming took place at the Lindale Mill in Lindale, Georgia, where the set was being built in late May.[13]


In December 2015, it was confirmed that Joseph Trapanese would return to compose the score for the film. The first track for the Allegiant soundtrack, "Scars", written by Tove Lo, Jakob Jerlström, Ludvig Söderberg, and performed by Tove Lo, was released as a single on February 19, 2016.


A teaser trailer was released on September 15, 2015, followed by a full-length trailer two months later, on November 12, 2015. Another full-length trailer was released on January 22, 2016.


Box office[edit]

Allegiant grossed $66.2 million in North America and $113.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $179.2 million.[4]

In the United States and Canada, the film was projected to gross around $28–30 million in its opening weekend from 3,740 theaters, which would make it the lowest opening among the franchise.[14] It earned the lowest previews among the series, with $2.35 million from 2,800 theaters.[2] On its opening day, it made $11.9 million (including previews), down 43.6% from Insurgent, becoming the first film in the series to fail to open with over $20 million. Scott Mendelson of Forbes compared the decline in opening day to the third installment of The Chronicles of Narnia film series, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which had a similar amount of drop.[15] In comparison, the third Hunger Games film, Mockingjay – Part 1 fell only 21% from its previous film.[15] In its opening weekend, the film grossed $29 million from 3,740 theaters, finishing second at the box office behind Zootopia. It was the first film of the franchise not to finish in first at the box office, and its opening was 46% below Divergent's and 44% behind Insurgent's.[16][17] Lionsgate president of domestic distribution Richard Fay labeled the opening "pretty solid".[18] As a result of the poor opening, Lionsgate's stock fell the next day, on Monday.[19][20] Due to Allegiant's poor box-office resulting in Lionsgate's stock declining 3.3% by 72 cents to $21.13 in trading, Moody's Investors Service lowered Lionsgate's Speculative Grade Liquidity rating from SGL-2 to SGL-3.[21]

The Divergent Series: Allegiant also struggled internationally where Lionsgate does not have operations in most countries and sells distribution rights to partners.[18] It opened in 45 international markets a week ahead of its US debut, from March 9,[22] and will receive a scattered release worldwide. Unlike its predecessor Insurgent, Lionsgate decided not to have a day and date release for Allegiant, instead intending to take advantage of various school holidays in international markets, and at the same time avoid competition with Walt Disney's animated Zootopia.[23] Allegiant took the top spot in its opening day in France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden.[23] In its opening weekend, it earned $25.2 million from over 7,000 screens in 45 countries.[24] It added 32 markets in its second weekend, earning a total of $22 million from 77 countries, which is down 13%.[25] The top openings were in France ($5 million), Brazil ($2.7 million), the United Kingdom and Ireland ($2.6 million), Mexico ($2.5 million).[24][25] In the United Kingdom, it posted the lowest opening in the series, opening at No. 2 behind Kung Fu Panda 3 including previews, which is 37% behind the opening of Insurgent.[26] It had a very unsuccessful opening in South Korea with $523,000 from 392 screens.[27] In China, it opened in third place behind The Angry Birds Movie and Captain America: Civil War with $10.8 million. As a result, it helped the film cross the $100 million mark internationally and immediately became the film's second biggest market behind Italy only.[28] In terms of total earnings, its largest markets are China ($18.7 million),[29] France ($15.1 million), followed by Brazil ($6.9 million), the U.K. ($6.5 million), Russia ($6 million) and Spain ($5.1 million).[27]

Due to its underperformance, The Hollywood Reporter called it "the second big-budget miss for Lionsgate this year after Gods of Egypt".[30] Many critics have blamed the underperformance of the film on Lionsgate's decision to split the last novel into two pictures.[19][18] Due to the box office struggles of Allegiant, Lionsgate had planned to wrap up the film series with a television movie with a perspective television series spinoff.[31] Made on a total budget of $183.6 million, including net production budget, advertising and promotion costs, and domestic home entertainment costs, Deadline Hollywood projected the film to make a mere profit of $3.5 million should it earn a net total of $187.1 million from various platforms (including theatrical revenues, TV rights and DVD sales). By comparison, Divergent made a net profit of $71.8 million and Insurgent $30.6 million.[32] By contrast, The Hollywood Reporter estimated the film lost the studio around $50 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.[33]

Critical response[edit]

The Divergent Series: Allegiant was met with mostly negative reviews by critics, who criticized the lack of originality and character advancement.[18][34] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 11%, based on 193 reviews, with an average rating of 4.10/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Allegiant improves on previous entries in The Divergent Series on a few superficial levels, but they aren't enough to counteract a sense of growing boredom with a franchise that's gone on too long."[35] Metacritic gives the film a score of 33 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[36] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[14]

Response by Shailene Woodley[edit]

Among the negative reviews from critics and fans alike, lead star Shailene Woodley expressed disappointment with the quality of Allegiant. In a 2018 interview with Net-a-Porter's PorterEdit, Woodley said she almost quit acting following the decline of the franchise.[37] She said:

The last one was a bit of a hard experience for everyone, and that was really what made me think I need to have some human experiences outside of this industry and fall in love with acting again, and Big Little Lies did that for me.[37]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
37th Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actress Naomi Watts Nominated [38]
Shailene Woodley Nominated
Hollywood Music in Media Awards Best Song – Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film "Scars" – Tove Lo Nominated [39][40]
2016 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Action The Divergent Series: Allegiant Nominated [41]
Choice Movie Actor: Action Theo James Nominated
Choice Movie Actress: Action Shailene Woodley Won
Choice Movie: Chemistry Shailene Woodley & Theo James Nominated
Choice Movie: Liplock Shailene Woodley & Theo James Nominated
Choice Movie: Scene Stealer Miles Teller Nominated

Expanded franchise[edit]

Cancelled fourth film[edit]

A theatrical sequel titled The Divergent Series: Ascendant, based on the latter half of the Allegiant book, was originally meant to wrap up the series and was originally set to be released on March 24, 2017, before being pushed back to June 9, 2017,[42] with Lee Toland Krieger directing[43][44] after Robert Schwentke backed out.[45] The film was later cancelled.

Cancelled television series[edit]

In July 2016, after Allegiant underperformed at the box office, it was announced that Lionsgate would instead release Ascendant as a television film that would serve as a lead-in for a television spinoff series, in which both projects would add new characters to the story, moving beyond the books.[46]

In September 2016, Shailene Woodley stated on Today that the film versus television decision was not finalized, and that it was "a limbo waiting game".[47] In the same interview Woodley spoke despairingly of the chances of her returning to the project in a television format, although noting that she would be open to returning to it as a theatrical film.[47] In February 2017, when it was announced that the fourth film will be a television project, it was announced Woodley had backed out of her starring role.[48][49] In August 2017, Starz and Lionsgate Television announced that they were beginning to develop the TV series[50] with director Lee Toland Krieger and writer Adam Cozad remaining attached from the original project.[51] In December 2018, Starz announced they were no longer seeking to develop a television series, citing the lack of interest from the cast and network executives.[52][53]


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External links[edit]