LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Sci-fi sequel “Riddick,” starring Vin Diesel as an ex-con who can see in the dark, muscled to the top of U.S. and Canadian box office charts at the weekend, dethroning Oprah Winfrey’s three-time winner, “The Butler.”
“Riddick,” the weekend’s only new nationwide release, rung up $18.7 million in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday, while “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” a civil-rights drama, pulled in $8.9 million, according to studio estimates.
“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.
“Riddick” returns Diesel to the role of a glowing-eyed ex-convict he played in two films in 2000 and 2004. In the new movie, Riddick sets out in search of his homeland. Double-crossed and left for dead, he battles beasts and bounty hunters while he tries to rebuild himself physically and morally.
“The Butler” stars Forest Whitaker as a White House butler to eight U.S. presidents. Entertainment mogul Winfrey plays his hard-drinking wife.
Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp, released “Riddick” in the United States, and eOne Entertainment distributes the film in Canada. The privately held Weinstein Company distributes “The Butler.” “Instructions Not Included” is distributed by Pantelion, a joint venture of Hollywood studio Lionsgate Entertainment and Mexican media giant Televisa .