In a savage world left desolate by school openings and football, amid a ragtag group of outcasts and butlers, only one man could see in the dark of the mostly empty theaters: Riddick, who managed to top the lowest box office weekend of the year by the same smartly modest means with which it got made in the first place. The third in the series about Vin Diesel’s space-lemur and his nocturnal foraging for nuts and berries took in $18.7 million to take first place—about a third of what The Chronicles Of Riddick did in 2004. But since it also cost three times less than that movie, and really only exists because Vin Diesel traded the rights for his Fast And Furious: Tokyo Drift fee and put up his own personal money, Universal doesn’t exactly have cause to worry, or even particularly pay attention. Besides, far more important than the film’s monetary success is that it’s left Vin Diesel feeling blessed, humbled, and inspired. (Or rather, Vinspired.)
The rest of the Top 10 was filled with holdovers, with surprise Spanish-language crossover hit Instructions Not Included jumping all the way up to third place, after Lee Daniels’ Goddamn, People Really Like The Butler, and the low bar allowing Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine to creep into eighth place. Meanwhile, One Direction: This Is Us fell all the way to sixth place in its second week out, meaning its fans didn’t support it hard enough, and now all copies of the film are in danger of being burned, and its fans rounded up and sent to work camps. That is unless everyone starts using the hashtag #DontBurnThisIsUsOrDragUsAwayInTheMiddleOfTheNight immediately and it gets 10,000 retweets.
Among the new specialty films, the promise of learning all of J.D. Salinger’s sexy, sexy secrets about how he sometimes went to the post office helped give Salinger a decent opening for a documentary, earning $91,000 in just four theaters. By contrast, the promise of seeing a dry, perfunctory exploration of Naomi Watts and Robin Wright dully fucking each other’s sons earned Adore $125,000 across 57 theaters, from people who don’t believe that some stories are better left untold, apparently. And finally, the Thomas Lennon/Ben Garant comedy Hell Baby debuted with a paltry $5,300—or $530 per each of its 10 theaters—a number that could give Lennon and Garant brief, dismayed pause from cranking out another multimillion-earning Night At The Museum sequel.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.