Date: 9th February 2001

A Big Return For Hannibal Lecter?

Analysts expect that MGM's Hannibal, starring Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore, could earn $50 million this weekend, despite (for audiences) stomach-churning scenes and (for producers) mostly gruesome reviews.

Almost all box-office analysts are predicting that the movie will top the current February record holder, Scream 3, which opened with $34.7 million a year ago. The original Silence of the Lambs, which premiered exactly ten years ago today (Friday), took in $13.8 million over its first weekend, on its way to earning $130.7 million. In an interview appearing in today's Toronto Star, Hopkins, while defending the film's gross-out scenes, said that even he raised an eyebrow over its ending, which, in the newspaper's words, is "guaranteed to make even the most bloodthirsty of horror freaks squirm in their seats." Hopkins recalled: "I said to director Ridley Scott, 'Are you going to show all this?' He said, 'I don't know. We'll film it, but when we're editing it, we may cut back from this.' But he didn't."

Source: Studio Briefing