"Insurgent," the second part of the "Divergent" film series, kicked off its box office run with a healthy $4.1 million in ticket sales from late night showings Thursday.
That came up short of the $4.9 million the first "Divergent" film earned in its Thursday debut.
Shailene Woodley returns as Tris, the hero from the young adult novels by Veronica Roth on which the movies are based.
Going into the weekend, analysts projected that the sequel would take in around $60 million at the domestic box office, which would be a shade better than the $54.6-million opening weekend for "Divergent" last year.
Lionsgate, the Santa Monica studio behind the film, will also be closely watching the returns generated overseas, as sequels tend to benefit from increased awareness outside the United States. The film has already grossed about $8.2 million internationally.
Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment made the sequel for $110 million and is backing the two-part finale based on "Allegiant," the third book in the series.
"Insurgent" should easily replace last week's victor "Cinderella" at the top of the box office charts. Fellow newcomer "The Gunman," an action movie starring Sean Penn, should debut with about $8 million.
"The Guman" is released by Open Road Films.