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Box Office: ‘Riddick’ Defies Post-Labor Day Slump With $18.7 Mil, Knocks ‘Butler’ to Second Place

Total domestic box office outstrips the same frame last year by roughly 25%

Vin Diesel helped light up what is usually a dark post-Labor Day box office period, with Universal’s franchise pic “Riddick” scoring a solid estimated $18.7 million domestically.

The film claimed the weekend’s No. 1 spot, unseating the Weinstein Co.’s “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” which fell to second place with $8.9 million. The three-week champ, which fell just 40% in its fourth frame, reached $91.9 million Stateside through Sunday.

Total domestic box office was up over this time last year by roughly 25%, thanks also to a excellent expansion for Lionsgate-Pantelion’s “Instructions Not Included.” The Hispanic-targeted crowdpleaser earned $8.1 million from just 717 locations, up from 384 last weekend, for a Stateside cume now past $20 million.

It was a sci-fi-themed weekend globally: Sony’s futuristic pic “Elysium” ranked first overseas with an estimated $21.2 million, of which China contributed $11.7 million in its first weekend locally. In total, “Elysium” has cumed $127 million internationally and $212 million worldwide.

SEE ALSO: Film Review: ‘Riddick’

Popular on Variety

While “Riddick” defied the post-Labor Day slump, the film still came in on the low-side of expectations. Pic opened with less than its predecessor’s $24 million debut in 2004, but the $38 million three-quel outperformed the original film, 2000’s “Pitch Black,” which grossed $11.6 million during opening weekend.

“We always try to find the right time for the right films,” said Universal distribution prexy Nikki Rocco. “This was an inexpensive venture for Universal, and we wanted Vin to have the No. 1 film.”

Not surprisingly, “Riddick” earned most of its opening from men, at 59%, with Hispanics contributing a sizable 37% of the gross. Imax also helped with fanboy appeal, posting $2.5 million of the domestic opening.

Aside from “The Butler,” which has dominated with adult auds, a few other holdovers continue to hold their ground nicely.

Warner Bros.-New Line’s R-rated hit comedy “We’re the Millers” fell just 38% in its fifth outing, with $7.9 million, lifting its domestic cume to an impressive $123.8 million.

SEE ALSO: Vin Diesel Revives ‘Riddick’ in Westwood

Meanwhile, Sony’s “One Direction: This Is Us” dropped a steep 74% in three days, grossing an estimated $4.1 million. The drop-off is somewhat expected considering how frontloaded the film’s opening was, though similar music docs, including “Justin Bieber” and the Michael Jackson pic, fell just 55% and 43% in the second frames, respectively.

At the specialty box office, Exclusive Media’s drama “Adore,” starring Robin Wright and Naomi Watts, earned a meager $125,400 from 57 locations, averaging just $2,200 per screen.

The indie, about two mothers who become romantically involved with each others’ sons, played better on non-theatrical platforms, however. Pic debuted in the top 15 on iTunes this weekend.

Domestic

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Locations; Per-theater average; Cume*; Percentage change

  1. Riddick (1): $18.7; 3,107; $6,010; $18.7; —
  2. Lee Daniels’ The Butler (4): $8.9; 3,330; $2,673; $91.9; -40%
  3. Instructions Not Included (2): $8.1; 717; $11,297; $20.3; +3%
  4. We’re the Millers (5): $7.9; 3,445; $2,300; $123.8; -38%
  5. Planes (5): $4.3; 3,003; $1,409; $79.3; -45%
  6. One Direction: This Is Us (2): $4.1; 2,735; $1,499; $24.0; -74%
  7. Elysium (5): $3.1; 2,241; $1,383; $85.1; -52%
  8. Blue Jasmine (7): $2.7; 1,069; $2,515; $25.4; -33%
  9. Percy Jackson … Monsters (5): $2.5; 2,045; $1,222; $59.8; -44%
  10. The World’s End (2): $2.3; 1,520; $1,514; $21.7; -54%

Overseas

Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Territories; Screens; Int’l cume*; Global cume*; Percentage change

  1. Elysium (5): $21.2; 52; 10,630; $127.1; $212.2; +18%
  2. White House Down (11): $12.6; 31; 4,140; $79.9; $152.7; +530%
  3. We’re the Millers (4): $9.9; 41; 3,400; $55.1; $178.9; -9%
  4. The Conjuring (8): $8.5; 47; 3,800; $124.5; $259.7; -30%
  5. One Direction: This Is Us (2): $7.6; 66; 3,320; $26.0; $50.0; -48%
  6. Riddick (1): $7.4; 31; n/a; $7.4; $26.1; —
  7. The Smurfs 2 (6): $7.3; 71; 5,450; $199.2; $267.4; -14%

*in millions of $

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