Vin Diesel’s Riddick topped the movie box office this weekend as the fall season got underway, grossing a solid $18.7 million in its first week of release.
The weekend after Labor Day is always sluggish in terms of moviegoing. Riddick helped drive revenue up 24 percent over the same weekend a year ago.
“Face it, this is never a great weekend. I was hoping Riddick would get to $20 million, but this is a great result,” said Universal’s distribution chief Nikki Rocco.
Riddick opens in 22 more international markets this weekend, including the U.K. and Hong Kong, where the three-quel is expected to perform well.
Lee Daniels’ The Butler continues to do strong business as it heads into its fourth outing, coming in No. 2 and grossing $8.9 million ($91.9 million total).
On the comedy front, We’re the Millers continued to chug along steadily, coming in No. 3 with $7.9 million and pushing its total to $123.8 million.
Spanish-language film Instructions Not Included grossed $8.1 million as it expanded into more than 700 theaters. It is now up to $20.3 million overall.
At the specialty box office, TWC’s Salinger opened to a strong $90,969 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a location average of $22,742.
That’s the best since Bully nearly 18 months ago. Bully, likewise released by TWC, opened to $116,472 from six theaters for a location average of $23,294.