“Riddick” got a jump on the weekend, racking up roughly $900,000 at late night and midnight showings on Thursday, according to studio estimates.
The third film in Vin Diesel‘s trilogy about a highly trained killer with the ability to see in the dark opened at 1,800 theaters. Its debut numbers are roughly in line with “Resident Evil Retribution” which opened to $665,000 in late night screenings before making $21 million over its opening weekend last year.
“Riddick” is expected to take advantage of limited competition in the marketplace and is projected to generate north of $20 million over this, the first weekend of fall. It will expand to approximately 2,800 theaters.
If tracking holds, its debut should put it on similar ground with the $24.3 million that the previous film in the series, “The Chronicles of Riddick,” generated when it hit theaters in 2004.
That film, however, was not a success, earning $58 million domestically and $115 million worldwide, but costing a massive $105 million to produce. The budget on “Riddick” is a much more economical $38 million.
It is the only major release debuting this weekend, although there are an onslaught of specialty titles hitting theaters. “Salinger,” the Shane Salerno documentary about the reclusive author, the biopic “Winnie Mandela” starring Jennifer Hudson as the South African icon’s wife, and the faith-based melodrama “The Ultimate Life” are among the 23 indie films that will premiere this weekend.