Riddick Takes Modest First Place At Friday Box Office With $7.3 Million
As the only new wide release of the weekend, Riddick didn't face a huge challenge on its way to #1 at the box office, and has managed to sneak into place without a necessarily stunning debut. According to the numbers at Deadline the Vin Diesel-starrer opened to $7.3 million on Friday, putting it on track for an $18 to $19 million debut, even though some tracking numbers put it north of $20 million.
That's a solid $5 million or so behind The Chronicles of Riddick, which made $25 million on its opening weekend in 2004 and topped out domestically at barely double that-- an expensive flop that meant Diesel had to throw his own money at Riddick. Reviews have been unenthusiastic but surprisingly kind, especially compared to The Chronicles of Riddick's 29% Rotten Tomatoes score, so a longer shelf life for Riddick could be possible-- especially with very few other action films on the horizon.
The rest of the box office is made up of the strongest summer holdovers, with Lee Daniels' The Butler, which is on track for $8.1 million for the weekend and a remarkable $90 million total gross after just 4 weeks in theaters. Given the crazy constellation of producers and number of star cameos that Lee Daniels had to assemble to get it made, that's serious vindication. Also doing well is another surprise hit, Instructions Not Included, the bilingual comedy starring Eugenio Derbez that made a big splash last weekend. It came in fourth place on Friday while expanding into more than 700 theaters, and is projected to make $6.6 million for the weekend.
This period between the end of the summer and the start of fall movie season is always quiet, so good on Vin Diesel for seeing an opportunity and getting Riddick-- a movie that forever seemed like it would never actually happen-- in front of as many audiences as possible. Let us know in the comments what you're seeing this weekend and how Riddick lived up to expectations.
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