CATEGORIES Movie News
The economics of Hollywood are often baffling, as DVD sales, broadcast fees and merchandising tie-ins balance against advertising costs and pay-or-play deals to form an accounting maze. The latest bizarre example? A third movie in the woeful 'Chronicles of Riddick' franchise.

Yes, you read that correctly: according to Variety, Vin Diesel has agreed to re-team with writer/director David Twohy for an as yet untitled sequel to the sci-fi stinkbomb 'Chronicles of Riddick.' 'Riddick,' you may recall, was released back in 2004 to a slew of negative reviews and general viewer indifference; despite its hefty $105 million budget, most of which was spent on special effects, the film topped out at a paltry $57 million domestically. The economics of Hollywood are often baffling, as DVD sales, broadcast fees and merchandising tie-ins balance against advertising costs and pay-or-play deals to form an accounting maze. The latest bizarre example? A third movie in the woeful 'Chronicles of Riddick' franchise.

Yes, you read that correctly: According to Variety, Vin Diesel has agreed to re-team with writer/director David Twohy for an as yet untitled sequel to the sci-fi stinkbomb 'Chronicles of Riddick.' 'Riddick,' you may recall, was released back in 2004 to a slew of negative reviews and general viewer indifference. Despite its hefty $105 million budget, most of which was spent on special effects, the film topped out at a paltry $57 million domestically.

So how is a third installment getting made, you may ask? Is it some sort of studio tax shelter? The answer likely has to do with ancillary profits from revenue streams outside the box office. For example, in addition to its stateside rake, the film brought in $58 million overseas. While the combined $116 million worldwide probably still didn't cover distribution and advertising costs, it likely brought the film close to even, meaning DVD sales and profits from the tie-in video game franchise may have put the movie in the black.

In addition, 'Riddick' itself was a sequel to 'Pitch Black,' a modestly budgeted ($23 million) success back in 2000. Extending the franchise to a third film may help boost ancillary profits by introducing the 'Pitch Black' and 'Chronicles of Riddick' DVDs and merchandise to new audiences, meaning that the new film may not even need to break even to eventually turn a profit for the studio.

To be a success, then, the new 'Riddick 3' may simply need to exist. Something that, amazingly, now appears likely to happen, at last giving new hope to beleaguered fans of 'Howard the Duck' and 'The Island.'