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Red Dragon had the best October debut ever, beating the $28.6 million opening of Meet the Parents in 2000.

DRAGON BREATHES
BOX OFFICE FIRE

Hannibal Takes Smaller Bite Than Usual

Red Dragon, Anthony Hopkins' third stab at serial killer Hannibal Lecter, debuted as the No. 1 film with $37.5 million, a healthy return but well below the $58 million Hannibal took in over opening weekend last year.

Still, Red Dragon had the best October debut ever, beating the $28.6 million opening of Meet the Parents in 2000.

A prequel to The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, Red Dragon tells the story of the FBI agent (Edward Norton) who captured Lecter and later enlists the madman's help to track a new serial killer (Ralph Fiennes).

Last weekend's top film, Sweet Home Alabama, slipped to second place with $21.6 million, raising its 10-day total to $65.6 million.

The weekend's only other new wide release, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, opened solidly at No. 6 with $6.5 million

In its second weekend after a limited debut, the comic drama Moonlight Mile expanded to more theaters and broke into the top 10, grossing $2 million to hit No. 9. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon.

The overall box office rose for the fourth straight weekend after a two-month slump. The top 12 movies took in $103.2 million, up 24% percent from the same weekend last year.

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