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Vin Diesel’s passion project Riddick finally broke Lee Daniels’ The Butler’s winning streak, but only needed $18.7 million to do so. Thankfully, Universal didn’t spend a dime on the production, allowing Diesel to raise all the funds himself.
Riddick is the follow-up to 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick, which opened to $24.3 million back then, notes EW. While the drop from that to $18.7 million may sound big, Riddick only cost $38 million to make, compared to the $105 million Universal spent on Chronicles. Plus, Chronicles only grossed $57 million in total.
Audiences who did see Riddick liked it enough, giving it a B CinemaScore Grade. The film is Diesel’s first since Fast & Furious 6, which was released earlier this year, also from Universal. Diesel actually earned the rights to the Riddick series in his agreement to star in that franchise.
“After a few quiet years, Diesel's star has gone up again recently, thanks to the enormous success of the last three Fast & Furious movies,” Box Office Mojo’s Ray Subers told USA Today. He added that Diesel’s name "has particularly strong drawing power among males and Hispanics."
The Butler slipped to No. 2 with $8.9 million. The $30 million Weinstein company film is already up to $91.9 million, so expect it to hit $100 million this weekend.
Spanish-language hit Instructions Not Included continued to impress, grossing $8.1 million. We’re The Millers with Jennifer Aniston brought its total to $123.8 million with $7.9 million this past weekend. Planes added $4.3 million.
Next weekend features two wide releases - The Family, an action comedy with Robert De Niro, and Insidious 2, a horror film from James Wan.