The Harry Potter series may have led the cause, but it’s clear now that every studio is on the lookout for hit young adult book series they can adapt to film. It’s easy to see why: the films have a built-in fanbase, feature fantasy and sci-fi elements that appeal to the masses and often target that critical demographic of teen moviegoers.

However, one trend that seems to be cropping up again and again with the likes of the Twilight and The Hunger Games series (not to mention Harry Potter) is the desire for studios to split these best-selling books into multiple films. Both Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Twilight: Breaking Dawn – the final installments in their respective book series – were split into two films, with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay set to follow suit. Now it seems we have another franchise to add to that list.

According to Variety, Lionsgate – the same studio behind Twilight and The Hunger Games, it should be noted – will split Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent trilogy, into two films. We already knew that the remaining films were in active development and that the goal is to have an entry in the Divergent series released each March, following the release strategy the studio used in releasing The Hunger Games films.

Given the studio’s history with such properties, the decision isn’t exactly a surprising one, especially when considering that Divergent earned a healthy $56 million on its opening weekend. It’s a smart business move, but splitting Allegiant into two films will almost certainly incite the same kind of discussion as previous instances of this approach, leaving Divergent fans wondering if this will ultimately hurt or help the finished films.

After all, the general consensus seems to be that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 and Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 are less substantive and satisfying than their direct sequels, causing some fans to wonder if the final entries of those franchises would have been better served with a single, super-sized film rather than two separate releases. As Lionsgate moves forward with production on Divergent sequel Insurgent, the studio would be wise to take this into account, though the fans will certainly show up for the films regardless.

Do you think it’s a good move to split Allegiant into two films? Is there enough material in the final novel to warrant separate releases? Let us know in the comments section below.

Divergent is now in theaters. Insurgent will be released on March 20, 2015, followed by Allegiant: Part 1 on March 18, 2016 and Allegiant: Part 2 on March 24, 2017.

Source: Variety