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Riddick tops US box office with $18.8 million


Story by Jack Foley

VIN Diesel’s Riddick has topped the US box office with $18.8 million.

The performance of the film goes some way towards repaying the faith that Diesel has shown in the character, the rights to which he now owns.

The actor has said that he put his house at risk to finance the film independently at a cost of $38 million, although Universal – which financed the first two films, Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick – distributing States-side.

Heading into the weekend, some box office pundits had predicted somewhere in the region of $20 million plus as an opening figure. But even though it didn’t quite reach that high, the film helped drive revenue up by 24% compared to the same weekend a year ago.

And this particular weekend in the calendar is not viewed as a great one for film openings, a feeling reiterated by Nikki Rocco, Universal’s distribution chief, when he said: “Face it, this is never a great weekend. I was hoping Riddick would get to $20 million but this is a great result.”

Elsewhere, it was the domain of holdovers. Lee Daniels’ The Butler continued to do strong business in its fourth weekend, coming in second and grossing $8.9 million.

The historical drama, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, has now earned $91.9 million in the US.

Jennifer Aniston comedy We’re The Millers also held well, placing third with $7.9 million to bring its total to $123.8 million.

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