Sunday September 08, 2013
Weekend Box Office: ‘Riddick’ Sputters on Diesel Fumes; ‘Instructions’ Instructs Hollywood
“Riddick,” starring Vin Diesel, won the weekend, grossing $18.6 million, but that’s not the big story. Its opening total, after all, was still $6 million less than its predecessor, “The Chronicles of Riddick,” and that movie was considered a box-office disappointment back in 2004.
“One Direction: This is Us” fell off by 74.1%, one of the biggest second-weekend drops in movie history, but that’s not the big story, either, since two other movies (“Texas Chainsaw 3D” and “The Purge”) actually had bigger second-weekend drops this year. Besides, who’s surprised? One Direction has one fan base. Last weekend, they went. This weekend, they didn't.
No, the big box-office story this weekend is the movie that came in third place with $8.1 million: “Instructions Not Included.” It’s a Mexican comedy (“No se Aceptan Devoluciones”) starring Eugenio Derbez as a playboy who one day receives a package on his doorstep: a baby girl, from a past encounter, whom he’s forced to raise. In the process, he has to grow up, etc.
Why is that the big story? Because after two weekends, this thing has now grossed $20.3 million in the U.S. Here’s a list of Hollywood movies it has already outperformed:
- Broken City ($19.7)
- Admission ($18)
- Jobs ($15.5)
- Spring Breakers ($14.1)
- The Last Stand ($12)
It’s already the 10th-highest-grossing foreign language film ever in the U.S., and should move up to sixth ($24.6 million) by next Friday. At that point, only these films are ahead of it:
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ($128 mil)
- Life is Beautiful ($57)
- Hero ($53)
- Pan’s Labyrinth ($37)
- Amelie ($33)
Most of the above were critically acclaimed Oscar contenders and/or released by Miramax, which marketed and pushed and bullied them into box office successes. “Instructions” is barely getting any attention from the critics. It is, however, being distributed well by Lionsgate, who, earlier this summer, turned Kevin Hart’s concert film, “Let Me Explain,” into the fourth highest-grossing concert film of all time. Apparently someone at Lionsgate knows what they’re doing. Without instructions, either.
The 10th-highest-grossing foreign language film in the U.S. after only two weekends.