Diesel's 'Riddick' unseats Oprah's 'Butler' at box office

Sun Sep 8, 2013 1:23pm EDT
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By Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Vin Diesel's return as glowing-eyed space traveler "Riddick" won the weekend movie race, ringing up $18.7 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales and knocking three-time box office queen Oprah Winfrey to second place.

Civil rights drama "Lee Daniels' The Butler," starring Oscar winner Forest Whitaker and media mogul Winfrey, slipped to second, bringing in $8.9 million from Friday through Sunday.

"Instructions Not Included," a Spanish-language film starring and directed by Mexican television star Eugenio Derbez, was third with $8.1 million in its second week in release in U.S. and Canadian theaters.

The movie doubled its reach to more than 700 theaters after its limited debut a week ago set records for a Spanish film opening in the United States. The film stars Derbez as an Acapulco playboy forced to raise a baby girl left on his doorstep.

Jennifer Aniston comedy "We're the Millers" took in $7.9 million for fourth place, followed by animated Disney film "Planes" with $4.3 million.

Concert film "One Direction: This is Us," about the popular British boy band, fell to the No. 6 slot with $4.1 million, according to studio estimates.

While "Riddick" fell short of industry forecasts for a start between $21 million and $24 million at domestic theaters, distributor Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp, had predicted a lower opening between $18 million and $20 million.

"We're very comfortable with that (total)," said Nikki Rocco, president of distribution for Universal Pictures.   Continued...

Actor Vin Diesel poses for a portrait while promoting his upcoming movie "Riddick" in Los Angeles, California August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni