‘Red Dragon’ Fends Off Newcomers, ‘Swept Away’ Fends Off Moviegoers

Hannibal Lecter prequel rakes in $17.6 million in second week of release.

Despite competition from several new flicks, “Red Dragon” kept its teeth
clamped down on the top spot at the box office over the weekend. “Rush Hour
2″ director Brett Ratner’s Hannibal Lecter prequel took in $17.6 million in
its second week of release, according to studio estimates, for an overall
total of $63.2 million. (Click for photos from “Red Dragon .”)

“Brown Sugar,” a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of New York’s
hip-hop scene, was the weekend’s top debut. “Brown Sugar” more than recouped
its reported $8 million budget, taking in $11 million to land at #3.

Shoot-’em-up thriller “The Transporter,” made for around $20 million, was
the weekend’s second highest debut, coming in at #4 with $9.1 million.(Click for photos from “The Transporter .”)

Book-turned-movie “White Oleander” debuted at #7 with $5.6 million, roughly one-third of its reported $16 million budget, while the teen-romance period
piece “Tuck Everlasting” took in $5.5 million to debut at #8.

The recently unearthed “Knockaround Guys,” which had been sitting around the
New Line vaults since being bumped back from its planned January 2001
release date, came in at #9 with $5 million in its opening weekend, despite
the inclusion of blockbuster “XXX” star Vin Diesel in its ensemble cast
(see “Spooky ‘Signs’ Can’t Keep People Away From ‘XXX’ Action” ).

Satirical college romp “The Rules of Attraction” failed to crack the top 10,
taking in $2.4 million in its first weekend of release to land at #12 (click for photos from “The Rules of Attraction “). In
limited release, Madonna’s “Swept Away” fared much worse, with the $10
million picture earning $375,000.

Granted, “Swept Away” played in only 196 theaters while, by comparison, “Red
Dragon” was in 3,363. But the problem-plagued production (see “Vincent D’Onofrio Unwitting Passenger On Madonna’s Shipwreck” ), which was
directed by Madonna’s husband Guy Ritchie, failed to earn as much as another
highly touted filmmaker’s latest offering that played in only five theaters.

“Magnolia” director Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Punch-Drunk Love,” starring Adam
Sandler, made $380,000. The off-kilter comedy is expected to expand to 400
outlets by the end of this week. (Click for photos from “Punch-Drunk Love .”)

The rest of the top 10 includes Reese Witherspoon’s “Sweet Home Alabama” at
#2 with $14.1 million for an $85 million three-week total, as well as “My
Big Fat Greek Wedding” at #5 with another $7.8 million. The independently
produced flick, which has been in theaters for 26 weeks, has now surpassed
the success of movies like “X-Men,” “Scooby-Doo” and “The Mummy” with its
$158.3 million total.

Rounding out the top 10 is Jackie Chan’s “The Tuxedo” at #6 with $7 million
($37 million, three weeks) and “Barbershop” at #10 with $4 million ($65.4
million, five weeks).

For a full-length feature on “Rules of Attraction,” see “No Rules: WB Stars Get Nasty In ‘Attraction.’ “

For a Reese Witherspoon feature, see “Reese Witherspoon: America’s Sweetheart.”

For a Vin Diesel feature, see “Vin Diesel: Not Your Father’s Action Hero.”