Predicting exactly what Riddick will do at the box office this weekend is a little bit tricky. On the one hand, Riddick is a violent "R" rated film, which will keep it from pulling in the family audience. However, Vin Diesel is seeing a career resurgence thanks to the Fast & Furious franchise and has a strong, loyal social media following.
Just like The Avengers effect and Robert Downey Jr.'s popularity pushed Iron Man 3 to new heights at the box office for the Iron Man franchise, Riddick could greatly benefit from a Fast & Furious effect and Vin Diesel's popularity. Some people who enjoyed Fast & Furious will likely go see Riddick just because it's Vin Diesel in another action-hero role.
Virtually everyone is projecting that Riddick will win this weekend's box office, but the real question is whether the film will merely meet expectations or greatly exceed expectations. Entertainment Weekly has one of the most optimistic outlooks, projecting a $23 million debut. Box Office Mojo is projecting that Riddick will easily win the weekend with a $21.4 million opening weekend. However, Riddick only made $900K during Thursday night late shows, and Deadline predicts that the film will be hard-pressed to even hit $20 million.