Monday, September 9, 2013

"Riddick" Boosts the Box Office

The weekend directly following Labor Day is usually pretty slow.  This week last year had The Possession at the top of the box office, but it only managed to rake in $9.3 million.  This time we have a post-Labor Day box office that's 26% healthier.

You can thank Vin Diesel for that.

Diesel stars as the title character in Riddick, the third film in the Chronicles of Riddick franchise which follows the adventures of an intergalactic alien criminal.  The film - which was independently funded by Diesel and writer-director David Twohy after Universal initially refused to finance it - earned $18.7 million domestically in its first weekend, which is up from the first movie and down from the second.  Pitch Black debuted in 2000 with $11.6 million, and The Chronicles of Riddick debuted in 2004 with $24.3 million (Star Tribune).

While not debuting as well as its predecessor, Riddick did manage to knock Lee Daniels' The Butler out of its three-week streak as number one.  It also helped to boost the post-Labor Day weekend box office totals by 26%, compared to last year.

But this Friday is the 13th, and there's a horror movie sequel - Insidious: Chapter 2 - releasing that day.  It could be an "unlucky" day (if you believe in that kind of thing, which I don't), or it could be just the thing Insidious needs to terrify the number one box office spot from Riddick.  I don't know about you, but I'm really interested in seeing the box office numbers next week.

Here are the estimated ticket sales for the weekend of Friday the 6th through Sunday the 8th in the U.S. and Canada (numbers courtesy of the Star Tribune):

1.  Riddick - $18.7 million
2.  Lee Daniels' The Butler - $8.9 million
3.  Instructions Not Included - $8.1 million
4.  We're the Millers - $7.9 million
5.  Planes - $4.3 million
6.  One Direction: This is Us - $4.1 million
7.  Elysium - $3.1 million
8.  Blue Jasmine - $2.7 million
9.  Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters - $2.5 million
10.  The World's End - $2.3 million

 - Edessa, signing off

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