NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- LionsGate (LGF) is sliding during Friday's session as its latest franchise-in-the-making Divergent fails to live up to lofty expectations.

By market close, shares had tumbled 8.4% to $27.43. Trading volume of 6.2 million was four times its three-month average.

LionsGate's Divergent, a film adaptation of the bestselling young-adult trilogy by Veronica Roth, generated $4.9 million in domestic late-night sales on Thursday, March 20. By way of comparison, the first film in the Twilight franchise made $7 million at midnight showings upon its November 2008 release.

The movie, which follows a world in which society has been fractured into different factions based on virtues, has been pegged as the studio's next Hunger Games, an easy comparison to make given the film's plot and target audience.

According to Reuters, box office analysts project opening weekend ticket sales between $50 million and $68 million in domestic markets. While that's one-third of the $152.5 million generated by the first film in The Hunger Games franchise, it is by no measure weak -- making comparisons to the wildly successful film starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen is a high bar to measure any film against.

On Friday, LionsGate greenlit the film's sequel Insurgent, slated for release in March 2015. The third film in the trilogy, Allegiant, is set for a March 2016 debut but the project is yet to be given the greenlight.

"We're off to a great start with strong numbers from all regions of the country, urban, suburban and rural alike," CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement. "We're confident that Divergent is on its way to becoming another important franchise for us."

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