Box Office: Vin Diesel's 'Riddick' Pacing for $20 Million-Plus Debut

"Lee Daniels' The Butler" falls to No. 2 after ruling the domestic box office for three consecutive weekends.

Vin Diesel's Riddick is headed for an easy box office victory with an expected opening north of $20 million, according to early Friday returns.

The threequel opens nearly a decade after The Chronicles of Riddick played in theaters. Diesel now owns the rights to the Riddick character, an intergalactic ex-con who can see in the dark.

Riddick was independently financed, with Universal picking up U.S. distribution rights. The studio also released the first two films in the franchise.

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In the latest outing, Riddick has been 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.

Lee Daniels' The Butler is expected to finish at No. 2 in its fourth weekend after becoming the first film of 2013 to rule the domestic box office for three consecutive weekends.