Will any of these six new films topple ''Red Dragon''? From Michelle Pfeiffer in ''White Oleander'' to the fight scenes of ''The Transporter,'' audiences have a lot to choose from this weekend
Michelle Pfeiffer, White Oleander
Credit: White Oleander: Vivian Zink

With no fewer than six new wide releases hitting theaters this weekend, ”Red Dragon” will try to keep its hold on the top box office slot — and it should succeed.

After premiering last weekend with a record-breaking $35.6 million, the latest Hannibal Lecter film, starring Anthony Hopkins, should capitalize on positive word of mouth in its second week. A 40 percent drop would result in $22 million, enough for another week at the top. Likewise, Reese Witherspoon’s comedy ”Sweet Home Alabama” could also repeat at No. 2. A slip of 45 percent would mean a $12 million third weekend.

Of all the new releases, the one with the widest opening is ”The Transporter,” the Luc Besson-produced action thriller with ”Snatch” star Jason Statham. Though it features no big-name stars, the film’s theater count of more than 2,500 and straight-ahead fight scenes should bring in a solid audience of action-loving young men, to the tune of about $11 million.

Another promising debut is ”Brown Sugar,” a romantic comedy starring Taye Diggs and ”Love and Basketball’s” Sanaa Lathan. On the heels of the $20.6 million opening of ”Barbershop,” another comedy with an African-American cast, ”Sugar” will try to entice the same fans and should end up with a $10 million debut.

Fifth place should go to ”White Oleander,” the star-studded film version of the Oprah Book Club selection written by Janet Fitch. Featuring Michelle Pfeiffer, Robin Wright Penn, and Renée Zellweger, the drama, opening in about 1,500 theaters, could gross about $9 million this weekend.

That would leave debuts ”Knockaround Guys,” a crime flick with Vin Diesel and Dennis Hopper; ”The Rules of Attraction,” a Bret Easton Ellis adaptation starring James Van Der Beek; and ”Tuck Everlasting,” a family drama with ”Gilmore Girls” star Alexis Bledel, out of the top five, each with openings in the $6 million to $8 million range. Good thing a lot of you have Monday off: You’ll need it to see all the new movies.

Brown Sugar
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