Don’t ever accuse Vin Diesel of not having genuine passion for his films, because even though his most recent pet project, Riddick only cleared $7.3 million on it’s Friday showings (It was released on Thursday), it was his passion and drive to keep the Riddick project alive that we’re even able to see another rendition of the sci-fi tale.
In the realm of unwanted sequels, Riddick ranks pretty high on the list. It only happened because producer/star Vin Diesel loves playing the character, so he basically got the rights back from Universal in exchange for cameoing in the third Fast & the Furious movie (he also signed on as a producer for future F&F films, which led to the series revival in 2009). Vin Diesel funded part of the Riddick budget himself, a true example of putting your money where your mouth is. The film ended up costing just $38 million, or a lot less than the $105 million spent on The Chronicles of Riddick back in 2004. So when I say that the newest installment didn’t exactly light up the box office with $7.3 million yesterday, it’s not exactly a tragedy. The film is basically Universal’s down-payment on Vin Diesel’s continued involvement in the Fast & Furious franchise, just as Warner Bros. funding Inception‘s $200 million budget was a down-payment on Chris Nolan returning for a third Batman film.
So a win-win for everyone involved. Universal gets Vin locked in with Fast & Furious, which is an absolutely silly CASH COW, which only looks like it will be bigger next go-round with the way the last one ended. And, Vin? Well he got his Riddick made. Wonder what he’s willing to do to lock in another couple Riddick sequels? With the passion he’s shown thus far, it’s anyone’s guess!