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Final book in 'Divergent' trilogy to be split into two films

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The final book in the "Divergent" trilogy will be split into two movies, Lions Gate said on Friday, following the same formula the studio used for the upcoming final installments of "The Hunger Games" series.

"Allegiant Part 1" is set to be released on March 18, 2016, and its second part a year later on March 24, 2017, the studio said.

"Divergent," a dystopian thriller based on the young adult book series by author Veronica Roth, stars Shailene Woodley and was released last month, grossing $116.6 million so far at the U.S. box office.

The series tells the story of a futuristic society that divides people into groups based on personality traits.

Woodley's character, teen heroine Tris Prior, becomes a threat to the government-enforced system as her multiple dominant traits make it difficult for her to fit into society.

The second film in the franchise, "Insurgent," is set to begin production next month with a release date of March 20, 2015. Theo James stars alongside Woodley in the films.

Lions Gate will release the final two installments of "The Hunger Games" franchise, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" starring Jennifer Lawrence, in November, followed by the second part in November 2015.

"The Hunger Games" series has so far grossed $1.5 billion in global ticket sales.

The final installment of the "Twilight" series, another young adult book series adapted for the big screen by Summit Entertainment, was split into two parts. Lions Gate purchased Summit in 2012 and distributed the final "Twilight" film.

The series grossed $3.3 billion over five films released between 2008 and 2012.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Patricia Reaney and Nick Zieminski)

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