LOS ANGELES, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- American action star Vin Diesel's latest film "Riddick" won the top place at the North America box office by unseating three-time winner civil rights epic "The Butler"this weekend and is estimated to roll up 18.67 million U.S. dollars in ticket sales.
"Riddick"is the third installment on the actor-led sci-fi action franchise and was debuted in 3,107 theaters in the United States and Canada. It is a sequel to the 2000 release "Pitch Black " and 2004's "The Chronicles of Riddick."
In the new installment, Riddick, an ex-con who can see in the dark, leaves his comfortable world as leader of the Necromonger group to seek out his homeland. Once double-crossed and left for dead, he battles beasts and bounty hunters while he works to rebuild himself physically and morally. Universal Pictures released "Riddick" in the United States while eOne Entertainment distributed the film in Canada.
The ticket sales of "Riddick" is well below industry forecast for a start between 20 million and 25 million dollars. As always as the case with Vin Diesel's film, the majority of first-night audience was male (which made up 59 percent) and 53 percent over 30 years old.
Both critics and audience liked "Riddick," which earned a 59 percent positive rating from reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and a solid "B" from CinemaScore.
"Lee Daniels' The Butler" parted with its three-week-long winning streak to finish at No. 2 slot with 8.9 million dollars worth of tickets revenue, a hefty 40 percent drop from last week. The movie, starring Forest Whitaker as a long-serving White House butler and Oprah Winfrey as his hard-drinking wife, topped box office rankings in its first two weekends and again over the Labor Day holiday period. The Weinstein Company release is on track for a 91.9 million dollar cumulative total.
"Instructions Not Included" rose from last weekend's No. 5 place to No. 3 with a 8.1 million dollar weekend. The low-budget Eugenio Derbez comedy vehicle from Pantelion films is projected to take in 20.3 million dollars over two weeks.
Rounding out the 10 most popular films in North America, as estimated by the studios, were "We're the Millers" (7.9 million U.S. dollars), "Planes"(4.3 million), "One Direction: This Is Us" (4.1 million), "Elysium" (3.1 million), "Blue Jasmine" (2. 7 million), "Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters" (2.5 million), and "The World's End" (2.3 million).