Gory <i>Hannibal</i> Eats Competition

Movie audiences hungry for gore had a huge appetite for Hannibal. The long-awaited sequel to Silence of the Lambs debuted at number one and was so dominant it earned more than the next 15 films, reported CBS News Entertainment contributor Laurie Hibberd in Box Office Plus.

Anthony Hopkins' return as the notorious serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lechter made the film the biggest non-summer opening ever, not to mention the best opening for MGM.

Here are the box office numbers according to Hollywood.com:

  • Hannibal took in $58 million.
  • It bumped The Wedding Planner to second place with $7.8 million.
  • Saving Silverman wasn't far behind in third with $7.4 million.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Cast Away rounded out the top five.
It was the third biggest opening in movie history — and it wasn't a long weekend. It didn't even matter that a lot of people were saying it was disappointing, said Hibberd.

"This is not going to get the great word of mouth," said Hibberd. "I'm not saying, 'you must see this movie.' "

"Some people say, 'That's the most grotesque thing I ever saw,' " said Hibberd. "The last ten minutes of the movie is about as gross as it gets."

"The whole thing about the first movie, it was probably the scariest movie I've ever seen, because it potentially could be real and it was suspenseful as opposed to gory. This one is just gore. That bothered me," Hibberd said.

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