As you may have noticed, it’s September, which is generally considered one of the weakest box office times of the year.  So when Universal set Riddick for release this last weekend, they were either hoping that the film would get attention because it’s slightly bigger/more genre-y than most September titles, or they didn’t care whether the film succeeded or not. Either way, they won the weekend.

Film Weekend Per Screen Total
1 Riddick $18,673,000 $6,010 $18,673,000
2 Lee Daniels’ The Butler $8,900,000 (-40.2) $2,673 $91,901,000
3 Instructions Not Included $8,100,000 (+3.2) $11,297 $20,312,000
4 We’re the Millers $7,925,000 (-37.7) $2,300 $123,884,000
5 Planes $4,274,000 (-44.9)
$1,409 $79,279,000
6 One Direction: This is Us $4,100,000 (-74.1) $1,499 $23,991,000
7 Elysium $3,100,000 (-51.9) $1,383 $85,077,000
8 Blue Jasmine $2,688,000 (-32.6) $2,514 $25,449,000
9 Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters $2,500,000 (-44.2) $1,222 $59,848,000
10 The World’s End $2,302,000 (-54.3) $1,514 $21,737,000


But it looks like the big winner this weekend is Instructions Not Included, which is an out of nowhere success that’s already made $20 Million and could make another $20 Million or so before it’s done. That’s a huge success for a film that only has ten reviews on Rotten Tomatoes (mostly because it wasn’t really screened for critics). What this tells Hollywood is that there is a Latino audience that can be marketed to and will show up for movies. Blacksploitation saved Hollywood, perhaps something like that could happen again.

Riddick is right at that place where its weekend box office isn’t so terrible that it can be called a disappointment, but it’s numbers aren’t so great that it can be championed. It did okay, they’ll probably make their money back. International is likely to be as good as domestic. Next week doesn’t offer any great competition. But as a genre film it could drop 60-70% just because. They have to get over $40 Million domestic to be considered a modest win. And they could get there, but they could also whiff it. Universal is probably happy with this because it won’t lose them money, it made Vin Diesel happy, but if they chose to make another Riddick film – which they might – it will be more as a favor than as a necessity.

We’re the Millers keeps playing, so it could get to $150 Million. It’s an audience favorite that’s for sure. The One Direction film is off 74%. That’s massive, but that’s fandom.

Otherwise, The Butler will cross $100 Million domestic next weekend, Planes is still in the top five though it won’t cross the nine digit mark domestically, while Blue Jasmine is not on the level of Midnight in Paris, but it isn’t done and could get somewhere in the $40 Million range when it’s all over. Otherwise, everything else in the top ten  is dead on its feet

What did you watch this weekend?