Vin Diesel in Riddick

There’s really only one movie this weekend, and it’s the Vin Diesel franchise resurrection that is Riddick. The last time Diesel suited up as Richard B. Riddick it was 2004, and The Chronicles of Riddick opened to $24 Million, only to make less than $60 Million at the box office. Here, $60 Million would be considered a win.

the last time Diesel and writer/director David Twohy tried this sort of movie they went for the large-scale epic, a hundred million dollar plus film that spared no expense but still managed to look a little cheap. This was a mistake on a number of different levels. For one, the two were coming off of Pitch Black and that was a modest success. By modest, I mean that it made $40 Million domestically, though did much better on home video. The other big mistake was overestimating Diesel’s appeal. the studios thought Vin might be the next Schwarzenegger, Stallone, etc. But it seemed to be the franchises, or sheer marketing willpower that got The Fast and the Furious and XXX over. Diesel has resurrected his career with the Fast movies, but people seem to like him more as Dominic Toretto than anything else.

Here, Riddick costs less than $40 Million, and should be able to do around $50 Million domestic, and maybe a little more or less internationally. And if this does over $100 Million worldwide, then he and Twohy can plot to make another for around the same budget in a couple of years. And as long as the Fast franchise holds up, Universal might not mind making a modest profit on another franchise to keep their star happy. The problem could be if Diesel and Twohy want more money for the next one, or if the Fast movies start losing audiences. But as long as this does near or over $50 Million domestic, and just as much internationally, we may see Riddick for years to come.

And so, for the weekend, let’s say:

  1. Riddick - $20 Million

It may not get that high, but perhaps audiences will be suckered back in for more. If it does low to mid-teens, it could mean the end of the franchise entirely. But if it does $18 Million, everyone should be relatively happy.

What are you going to watch this weekend?