It was a record-breaking weekend at the box office, as "Red Dragon" made the largest October opening ever and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" dethroned "The Blair Witch Project" to become the highest grossing independent film of all time.
The Hannibal Lecter prequel "Red Dragon" was the weekend's #1 movie, taking $37.5 million, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" was #4, earning another $8.4 million for a 25-week total of $147.9 million.
Anthony Hopkins again gave new meaning to the phrase "chewing up the scenery" in "Red Dragon," the third film in which he's portrayed author Thomas Harris' fictitious serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Co-starring Edward Norton and Ralph Fiennes, the film's impressive debut was substantially smaller than that of "Hannibal" a year and a half ago. That sequel appeared a decade after 1991's Academy Award-winning "The Silence of the Lambs," the first film to feature Hopkins in the Hannibal Lecter role. (Click here for photos from "Red Dragon.")
Reese Witherspoon's "Sweet Home Alabama" moved down to #2 with $21.6 million for a two-week total of $65.6 million — numbers that bode well for next year's "Legally Blonde 2." (see "It's Witherspoon Versus Washington In 'Legally Blonde 2' ").
The animated "Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie," the only other widely released new film this weekend (see "A Cannibal And Some Vegetables Hit Theaters This Weekend"), came in at #6 with $6.5 million.
The rest of the weekend's top 10 includes the Jackie Chan/ Jennifer Love Hewitt action comedy "The Tuxedo" at #3 with $10.1 million ($28.1 million over two weeks); the Ice Cube-led ensemble comedy "Barbershop" at #5 with $6.8 million ($60.1 million, four weeks); "The Banger Sisters" at #7 with $3.5 million ($24.3 million, three weeks); "The Four Feathers" at #8 with $2 million ($15.5 million, three weeks); "Moonlight Mile" at #9 with $2 million ($2.4 million, two weeks); and Robin Williams' "One Hour Photo" at #10 with $1.7 million ($28.7 million, seven weeks).