With virtually no competition — last week's newcomers "Getaway" and "Closed Circuit" fell sharply — it left "Riddick" open to easily take what was — and should stay — the slowest weekend of the year.
In small releases, The Weinstein Company's hyped secret-revealing documentary "Salinger" debuted in four theaters to $91,000.
For comparison, Jennifer Hudson's "Winnie Mandela" in 32 theaters this weekend, opened to $69,600.
Here are this week's winners and losers in Hollywood:
9. "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" moved up one spot in week five despite a drop in nearly 350 theaters earning $2.5 million. What happened here? Many probably didn't realize this film was out due to light marketing. Since it debuted during a slow August, fans of the the series are probably turning out. The film may also be seeing more screen time. When it originally debuted screening times for the sequel to the 2010 film were far and few between to find.
8. With few films out this weekend, Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine" saw a bump moving up four spots with $2.7 million.
7. "Elysium" moves down one notch earning $3.1 million. After week five, Neil Blomkamp's latest commentary on society has earned $212 million worldwide with slightly more money coming from abroad.
6. After nearly beating out "The Butler" last weekend, concert film "One Direction: This Is Us" drops nearly 75% with a gross of $4.1 million. The film is playing out better overseas — it's earned $50 million worldwide — but may have a tougher time hitting the $100 million mark now at theaters.
5. Disney's "Planes" continues to draw in families with another $4.3 million in week five. The "Cars" spinoff from Disney toons rather than Pixar is a cost-effective win for the Mouse House since the animated film only cost an estimated $50 million as compared to more costly tons while still appearing to have the Pixar appeal to children.
4. Warner Bros.' break-out comedy "We're the Millers" brings in another $7.9 million in week five. The Jennifer Aniston comedy cost an estimated $37 to produce and has brought in more than $178 million worldwide.
3. Speaking of break outs, Lionsgate's comedy "Instructions Not Included" continues to surprise with another $8.1 million. After its success last weekend, the film opened in 369 more theaters this weekend.
2. Weinstein's "Lee Daniels' The Butler" continues to be a big audience draw earning $8.9 million. The historic piece has been at the top of the box office for nearly four weeks. The film should hit $100 million domestically by the end of this week.
1. Vin Diesel's return as night-seeing "Riddick" earned $18.7 million. Compared to previous films in the franchise, it grossed more than 2000's "Pitch Black," but didn't perform better than big-budget "Chronicles of Riddick." The third film in the Vin Diesel franchise wasn't expected to earn more than $20 million opening weekend as it caters toward a very specific audience.
More From Business Insider
- 15 Movies You Need To See Before The End Of The Year
- 'Riddick' Reviews: Vin Diesel Fans Will Be Happy After Waiting Nearly A Decade For The Sequel
- BY THE NUMBERS: The 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Phenomenon
- Professional Services
- Arts & Entertainment
- Vin Diesel
- The Weinstein Company