Box Office: 'Riddick' No. 1 Friday With $7.3 Million; 'Butler' Set to Cross $90 Million
TORONTO -- Vin Diesel's Riddick is headed for a No. 1 finish at the domestic box office, although it may not cross $20 million in its debut.
The threequel topped the Friday box office with $7.3 million, putting it on course for an $18 million to $19 million weekend. Prerelease tracking had suggested the Universal release would open north of $20 million, although Universal was more conservative in its estimate.
Lee Daniels' The Butler continues to do strong business as it heads into its fourth outing and will cross the $90 million mark sometime on Sunday. The historical drama, released by The Weinstein Co. and starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, is expected to earn $8.1 million for the weekend.
Spanish-language comedy Instructions Not Included placed No. 4 on Friday, as it expanded into more than 700 theaters for a projected weekend in the $6.6 million range. The movie is from Lionsgate and Pantelion Films.
Diesel now owns the rights to the Riddick character, an intergalactic ex-con who can see in the dark.
Riddick was independently financed for $38 million, with Universal picking up U.S. distribution rights. The studio also released the first two films in the franchise.
In the latest outing, Riddick is left for dead on a hostile planet and grows ever stronger as he fights off his enemies. The movie also stars Jordi Molla, Matt Nable, Katee Sackhoff, Dave Bautista, Bokeem Woodbine, Raoul Trujillo, Nolan Gerard Funk and Karl Urban.
Riddick opens in 22 international markets this weekend, including the U.K. and Hong Kong.
At the specialty box office, Salinger opened to $26,633 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a location average of $7,408.