Riddick, the Sci-Fi action thriller starring Vin Diesel topped the North American box office over the weekend. The fall season at the box office started with little fanfare as the movie earned only $18.7 million.
Tracking prior to the release of the film suggested it might open with sales of over $20 million. However, Universal had been more conservative in its projections for the movie’s debut weekend.
The movies first of three episodes opened back in February of 2000 with $11.6 million in sales, while the second one debuted in June of 2004 earning over $24.3 million during the weekend.
Diesel is the owner of the rights to the character Riddick, an intergalactic ex-convict, who is able to see in the dark. This latest sequel was financed independently for just over $38 million, while the distribution rights in the U.S. were obtained by Universal, which also released both prior films of the franchise.
The weekend that follows Labor Day is known to be slow for moviegoers. Nevertheless, this year, with Riddick premiering, sales were 24% higher overall than the same weekend in 2012.
Big returns were experienced by IMAX theaters, which earned $2.5 million from just 314 locations. The largest percentage to watch Riddick were Hispanics and males making up 37% and 59% respectively.
This weekend the movie premieres in 22 markets internationally including Hong Kong and the UK.
The Butler continued to have strong business earning the No. 2 spot in its fourth weekend of release taking in $8.9 million. The movie stars Forest Whitaker and has now taken in nearly $92 million domestically.
We’re the Millers, the R-rated New Line comedy took the No. 3 spot with receipts of $7.9 million, pushing its North American total to over $123.7 million.
Instructions Not Included, a Spanish language movie, took in $8.1 million to take No. 4 on the list and has now taken in receipts totaling $20.3 million.