Weekend Wrap Up: Riddick Sees Through the September Dark

Yep, it’s September all right. A sure sign of this month is that new films will struggle to break even the $20 million barrier, when a mere six weeks ago, $20 million weekends were a joke. But that’s just the reality. Kids are gone back to school and everybody’s wallets need a bit of a break before they get back to their spending ways during the holiday season. This weekend was led Vin Diesel in his third turn as Richard Riddick. Would the resurgence of Diesel’s popularity via the Fast and Furious franchise be enough to reignite this franchise?


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The short answer is no. Riddick opened to a decent $18.7 million, but that almost $6 million off the debut of The Chronicles of Riddick nine years ago. It is a sizable improvement on Pitch Black, which opened to $11.6 million back in 2000, but if Riddick made even less than Pitch Black, then we’d really be talking about a disaster. This has always been a bit of a cult franchise, with diehard fans unable to expand the audience much. The good news is that the budget was quite modest for a sci-fi action flick at $38 million, so Universal might end up turning a small profit.

Second place goes to The Butler, which fell 40%. That seems like a bigger drop for the leggy film, but bear in mind it was buoyed by the holiday last weekend. Pulling in $8.9 million this weekend lifted its total to $91.9 million. I’d say it should end up around $115 million, and you can’t rule out the possibility of a re-release around Oscar season.

In third place, we have Instructions Not Included. I still have absolutely no idea what this movie is and I’m absolutely flabbergasted by its success. As an experiment, I refuse to actually actively research the film and I’m just going to see if I will eventually come across any kind of advertising for it, because so far, I haven’t. I want to see how long I can remain in the dark. Putting that aside, this mystery film increased 3.2% by adding a few hundred theatres, grossing $8.1 million. It has now banked $20.3 million.

We’re the Millers had yet another solid hold, dropping 38% to $7.9 million. Now 5 weekends old, the comedy has amassed $123.8 million. Planes is remarkably still in the top five and made $4.3 million this weekend. It was down 45% and has a running total of $79.3 million.

Predictably, One Direction plummeted, dropping an incredible 74%. And that’s after its actual figure last weekend was almost $2 million below the studio estimate. This is the very definition of front-loading. Anyway, the concert flick made $4.1 million and brought the total to $23.4 million. But, hey, at least it’s still better than The Jonas Brothers.

Elysium was down 52%, grossed $3.1 million and lifted its sum to $85.1 million. It’s doing well enough overseas that the studio might just break even. By virtue of posting a good hold, Woody Allen flick Blue Jasmine entered the top ten. It dropped 33%, grossed $2.7 million and has $25.5 million in total.

Percy Jackson sticks around, falling 44% to $2.5 million. $59.9 million in total. The World’s End is the end of the top ten, grossing $2.3 million after falling 54%. A $21.7 total is okay. So, a pretty quiet week at the box office, and that relative silence should continue until the last weekend of the month, although maybe Insidious Chapter 2 could make some noise next weekend. See ya then, everybody. Until we meet again.

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