In case you missed the box office report from last weekend, The Divergent Series: Allegiant was incredibly disappointing, failing to come close to matching the debut of the previous two installments. The franchise never really got off on the right foot, anyway, failing to meet the high standards of The Hunger Games, which itself saw the audience retreat by last year's finale. So it may be a problem the over-crowded YA market is facing as a whole. Be that as it may, Lionsgate has decided to take serious action when it comes to the final film, Ascendant.
According to THR, Lionsgate plans to cut the budget significantly for incoming director, Lee Toland Krieger (The Age of Adeline), who is replacing Robert Schwentke. Schwentke directed the last two movies before bowing out, and had a $110M budget to play around with on Allegiant. See, Schwentke is why Krieger can't have nice things. Literally.
As for who to blame for all of this, there's the misguided practice of splitting the final book into two movies, which has caused audiences to rebel against an already saturated marketplace. But it's likely just fatigue with the dystopian genre as a whole. The Maze Runner, which actually performed better than Divergent a couple of years ago, suffered a sophomore slump last year.
Ascendant is expected to open next year on June 9th, against a crowded field that includes World War Z 2 and Tom Cruise's The Mummy reboot. We might see the film moved to another date where its prospects are a little better. And this could just be the start of a mass exodus away from these kinds movies as returns continue to diminish.