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February 12th, 2001

Audiences Crave Fava Beans and Chianti

In an incredible box office weekend, Hannibal ate (sorry for the corny joke) the competition, majorly surpassing studio estimates with a whopping 58 Million (!). That's more than MGM has made in the past year (just joking...). Could Hannibal become a franchise? We'll see... Ted Tally says he's nearly done with adapting "Red Dragon", Thomas Harris' first book with the cannibal, and Hopkins said he will see after he reads it.

Still, MGM and many insiders were expecting a 35-40 million opening. 58 million is just astounding. It turns out no one could care less that Jodie Foster did not return, and despite some mixed reviews, everyone was hungry for some livers and fava beans. "Hannibal" is now the top R rated opener, and highest opener for a non-summer release. The film cost about 80 million to make, and grossed an amazing $17,958 per screen... the year just begun and there's no doubt "Hannibal" will be one of the top grossing films this year (I think "Pearl Harbor" will claim the number spot... but we got another 11 months).

Everything else was dismal... compared to Hannibal. The Wedding Planner went down to second with 7.7 million, followed by the new, critically bashed comedy Saving Silverman with a modest 7.4. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was fourth with 5.4 million, and it has now officially passed "Life Is Beautiful" and is the highest grossing foreign film in the U.S.

Cast Away was fifth with 5.2, followed by Save The Last Dance with 4.8 and in seventh Traffic with 4.4. Valentine which majorly dropped in it's second week with a mere 3.8 at number right, and I was glad that the wonderful O Brother, Where Art Thou? snuck in at number nine with 3.1 million, having a tie with Chocolat.

Another weekend for the history books... check back here later this week for Oscar® nod thoughts!

 

- Zach B.

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