Is 'Riddick 4' Really A Good Idea?

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Yesterday Vin Diesel announced that a fourth instalment of the ‘Riddick’ series is on its way. In a video posted on his Facebook page he told his fans: ''Universal just called me and told me 'Riddick' is number one on the DVD charts. There's no way Riddick would have been made without you guys”. Adding, “it's a win for all of us and I really, really thank you so much. Yeah, I'm excited, and of course, Universal also says they want to develop the next one.’' However 'Riddick' is not really known as one of the sci-fi world’s most successful franchises, leading us to ask is a fourth movie really a good idea?

Diesel at the LA premiere of Riddick
Diesel at the LA premiere of Riddick

The Riddick franchise tells the story of Riddick, an escaped convict who can see in the dark fighting in the 28th century. Our first taste of the character portrayed by Vin Diesel was in 2000’s Pitch Black. Despite a budget of $23million, the film became somewhat of a cult hit and ended up grossing over $53 million worlwide. However the film was seen more positively by fans than critics with many finding it too typical of the sci-fi action genre.

The public response to Diesel’s anti-hero Riddick however, was good enough to ensure a sequel with the character taking centre stage. First, however, came a straight to  DVD animated feature further developing the Riddick character. The Chronicles of Riddick had a considerably bigger budget than its predecessor, reported to be around $105 to $120 million, however its box office performance was disappointing taking between $107 million and $115 million worldwide. Critics this time were even less favourable with many feeling that it lacked depth beyond showing off its star Vin Diesel. However the cult following built up by Pitch Black ensured that the movie performed well upon its DVD release.

It seemed that despite Diesel’s hype, the 'Riddick 'franchise was just not a box office performer. While the sequel’s poor takings made a 'Riddick' 3 look unlikely, Diesel’s other franchise The Fast and the Furious was enjoying renewed success. This plus good DVD sales caused ‘Riddick’ to be given the green light nine years after the previous instalment.

With a budget of $38 million, considerably less than its predecessor, ’Riddick’ grossed just over $98million dollars worldwide, despite opening at number one in its first weekend in North America. Critics were still not too favourable of the franchise.

What seems clear is the person who’s most excited about the whole 'Riddick' franchise always is Vin Diesel himself. The third film did not have the backing of Universal and Diesel revealed to The Hollywood Reporter last August that he had to leverage his house, adding, "if we didn't finish the film, I would be homeless.” The franchise still performs well in the DVD market, as demonstrated by Vin Diesel’s celebration of the third instalments sales, dancing to Katy Perry on video. However the box office numbers just don’t add up. Thats why Diesel’s admission yesterday that a fourth movie was on the way is somewhat surprising.

Diesel with Leon Gubler, recieving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Diesel with Leon Gubler, recieving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

The recent DVD sales of 'Riddick' do prove there is still interest in the franchise, however these fans don’t seem to be turning up to the box office. This instalment, however, will have the backing of Universal which will probably mean a bigger budget.. but that could also lead to big losses.

Perhaps the best thing for Diesel to do, considering he’s so passionate about the Riddick character is to go back to the straight to DVD market, ensuring the real fans will be able to see the movie, but keeping it free from box office expectations. Also the particular genre of Riddick is one that ensure the character can live on, if marketed correctly, long after the movies are over. Diesel can still give longevity to the character without making a fourth movie. It took nine years for the actor to get the third movie made but now it just seems that maybe he’s rushing into number four, when the public appetite might just not be there yet.

Remind yourself of the 'Riddick' trailer:


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Comments

Marlon Pineda's picture

Marlon Pineda

F--- yeah it's a good idea! If you are remotely even interested in the previous movies, you have to be interested to know of the place Riddick comes from/ if he ever fucking makes it to Furya. It's like releasing the Lord Of The Rings without Return of The King or the original Star Wars movies without Return of The Jedi. The only thing is, I hope Vin puts Kristin Lehman back in because I want to know more about Shirah.

4 months 3 weeks ago
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James Mclean's picture

James Mclean

Yes but reading your articles is not.

5 months 2 weeks ago
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Robert Larkin's picture

Robert Larkin

Absolutely make a fourth. The Riddick character is a must see in my book. I was at the opening for the third movie and will absolutely be at the opening for the fourth, whenever that is. Keep em coming Vin Diesel! You rock!

7 months 6 days ago
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mikeydd1123's picture

mikeydd1123

Yes they should make more Riddick movies and who ever said they should got stiaght to dvd they can go stright to ****.With universal behine him now sky the limit for the next 2 nor 3 Riddicks.We need to see him get to his home planet. Just want to thank Vin for the Riddick movies that you do. Keep them comming you have more peeps out there then thees clowns that dont know ture Riddick fans thankyou VIN

8 months 3 weeks ago
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Pat Coleman's picture

Pat Coleman

Yes There should be a riddick 4 we have to know what happens when he goes back to get the guys who left him on that planet and then go home to furiya

9 months 1 week ago
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