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"Divergent" trilogy's "Allegiant" to be released as two films

Lionsgate will adapt "Allegiant," the final book in Veronica Roth's hit "Divergent" trilogy, into two films, the studio announced Friday.

The move follows the same strategy the studio used for the "Twilight" and "The Hunger Games" franchises.

"Allegiant -- Parts 1 and 2" will be released on March 18, 2016, and March 24, 2017, respectively. Before that, the second film in the series, "Insurgent," is scheduled to open on March 20, 2015.

"Divergent," starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, debuted March 21 with a $54 million opening weekend at the U.S. box office and has grossed $117 million overall domestically in its first three weeks of release. The film is continuing its international rollout, with openings this weekend in France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Scandinavia and other territories.

"Divergent" comes to the big screen

"Veronica Roth brings her captivating story to a masterful conclusion in 'Allegiant,' a rich, action-packed book with material that is ideally suited to two strong and fulfilling movies," Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger said in a statement. "The storytelling arc and world of the characters lend themselves perfectly to two films, a storytelling strategy that has worked very well for us on the two 'Twilight Breaking Dawn' films and about which we're tremendously enthusiastic for the two upcoming 'Mockingjay' films of 'The Hunger Games' franchise."

"Insurgent" begins production next month, with director Robert Schwentke taking over for Neil Burger, who directed the first film.