Vin Diesel had to wait nine years to bring his passion project, Riddick, to the big screen, but the wait paid off — the film topped the chart in its opening weekend and became the star’s second number one film this year after Fast & Furious 6. Riddick opened with $18.7 million, which marks a 23 percent drop from The Chronicles of Riddick‘s $24.3 million start in 2004. That may sound like a steep decline, but it’s important to remember that the two films had a very different sets of stakes.
The Chronicles of Riddick cost $105 million and finished with a weak $57 million total — not to mention poor critical reviews and weak audience reactions from fans who felt like the film’s PG-13 rating took away the dark edge present in franchise launchpad, Pitch Black, which earned $39.2 million in 2000. Diesel obtained the rights to Riddick from Universal as part of his negotiations to return to the Fast & Furious franchise, and he spent years raising the film’s $38 million budget through independent financiers. Universal agreed to distribute the film, and the studio shouldn’t be too disappointed that Riddick earned back half of its budget on opening weekend, especially during the traditionally weak post-Labor Day frame. READ FULL STORY