Proving that UK audiences have not lost their appetites for Hannibal Lecter, UIP's Red Dragon stormed to the top of the chart at the weekend with a mighty $4.96m (£3.2m) haul from 428 sites, including $1.05m (£674,621) of previews from 385 sites.
The film, a prequel to 1991's Oscar-winning The Silence Of The Lambs and star Anthony Hopkins' third helping of the role, scored a powerful $11,593 site average. Directed by Brett Ratner and also featuring a slew of past Oscar nominees including Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes and Emily Watson, Red Dragon was, however, unable to match the staggering opening of Lamb's sequel Hannibal which opened with $9.99m (£6.4m) at 421 locations in February 2001 - still holding the UK record for biggest-ever 18-certificate opening.
The Silence Of The Lambs opened wide with $3.6m (£2.3m) from 281 venues in June 1991, after a one week, single screen platform release in London's West End. It went on to gross $26.7m (£17.1m). Hannibal completed its run with a total gross of $33.7m (£21.6m). Red Dragon, which received a 15-certificate, will hope to end up in a similar bracket.
Dropping to second was BVI's Lilo & Stitch. The children's animation added 103 sites to its run this week boosting its takings by 24% from its opening week to $2.9m (£1.9m). With the schools half term still a couple of weeks off prospects look strong for the film which has a 10-day gross of $5.8m.
Entertainment's My Big Fat Greek Wedding lost its second place this week, dropping to third for the first time since launching four weeks ago. However the comedy continued to impress dropping off just 13% for the second consecutive week and taking a weekend gross of $1.9m (£1.2m) from 350 sites. The film has already taken $12.6m in the UK.
Rounding out the top five were Hollywood big hitters Signs, from BVI, with $1.3m (£830,356) from 392 locations; and 20th Century Fox's Road To Perdition with $1.1m (£727,139) from 372.
Last week's openers My Little Eye, One Hour Photo and Boat Trip filled out positions six, seven and eight dropping off 37%, 26% and 46% respectively from their launch weekends.
The only other opener to make the chart this week was another UIP title, Clockstoppers. Landing ninth place with $307,023 (£196,802) from 216 - a weak average of $1,421 per site.