''Red Dragon'' is tops for the second weekend. In a weekend crowded with new releases, the Hannibal Lecter thriller takes the biggest box office bite

By Gary Susman
Updated October 14, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Red Dragon: Glen Wilson

Brown Sugar

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  • Movie
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Hannibal Lecter may be showing his age, but he still ate everybody’s lunch this weekend. In its second weekend of release, ”Red Dragon” saw its receipts slip more than 50 percent, to $17.6 million, according to industry estimates, yet that was still enough for the movie to remain on top during a weekend crowded with new releases.

Remaining in second place was Reese Witherspoon’s ”Sweet Home Alabama,” which took in another $14.1 million. Romance-minded moviegoers also stuck with ”My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” holding strong at No. 5 with $7.9 million.

Doing better than expected were two indie newcomers, third-place ”Brown Sugar” and fourth-place ”The Transporter.” The black-cast romantic comedy ”Sugar,” featuring Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan, sweetened its pot to the tune of $11.1 million, or more than the $10 million the movie cost. The polyglot thriller ”The Transporter,” a French movie made in Hong Kong style with a British lead actor (Guy Ritchie staple Jason Statham), moved $9.2 million worth of tickets.

Other notable newcomers making top 10 debuts were the Michelle Pfeiffer drama ”White Oleander” (No. 7), the kids’ fantasy ”Tuck Everlasting” (No. 8), and the long-shelved Vin Diesel action comedy ”Knockaround Guys” (No. 9). Not even close were high-profile limited-release openers by Adam Sandler and Madonna. Sandler’s romance ”Punch-Drunk Love,” directed by ”Magnolia” auteur Paul Thomas Anderson, earned about $380,000 at five theaters. Madonna’s ”Swept Away,” directed by husband Ritchie, earned nearly as much, $375,000, but at 196 theaters, for a lowly per-screen average of $1,913 for the weekend. With a box office trickle like that, expect it to be swept away from even those few theaters in short order.

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Brown Sugar

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  • PG-13
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  • 108 minutes
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