Vin Diesel's new sci-fi actioner "Riddick" had exactly two things going for it this weekend: There were no other new releases, and something had to win the box office.
Timing, as they say, is everything.
That's the big takeaway from this weekend, as "Riddick" managed to top the charts even though it only brought in a tepid $18.7 million. That's less than the franchise's previous entry, "Chronicles of Riddick," earned in its opening weekend nine long years ago. So much for the theory that "Riddick" had spent the last decade building up a big cult following through video games, books and DVDs.
Still, Diesel's name and the complete lack of competition were enough to help "Riddick" beat out "Lee Daniels' The Butler," which held strong in second place with $8.9 million, giving the historical drama its fourth top two finish in a row. With a cumulative domestic total of $91.9 million so far, "Lee Daniels' The Butler" should pass the $100 million mark next weekend.
Other holdovers doing well also included the surprise Spanish language hit "Instructions Not Included," which moved up to third place with $8.1 million after nearly doubling its theater count, and the R-rated Jennifer Aniston comedy "We're the Millers," which spent its fifth week in the top four with an estimated $7.9 million.
The news wasn't so good for last week's top film, though, as the boy band manifesto "One Direction: This Is Us" tumbled all the way to sixth place with $4.1 million. Fame is a fickle mistress.
Next week's lineup includes "Insidious: Chapter 2" and "The Family." Yawn. For now, though, here's a look at this weekend's top ten, courtesy of Hollywood.com:
1. "Riddick" - $18.7m (our review)
2. "Lee Daniels' The Butler" - $8.9m (our review)
3. "Instructions Not Included" - $8.1m
4. "We're the Millers" - $7.9m (our review)
5. "Planes" - $4.3m (our review)
6. "One Direction: This Is Us" - $4.1m
7. "Elysium" - $3.1m (our review)
8. "Blue Jasmine" - $2.7m (our review)
9. "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" - $2.5m (our review)
10. "The World's End" - $2.3m (our review)