The psycho-thriller "Silence of the Lambs" squeezed past abused-wife drama "Sleeping With the Enemy" for the top spot at the nation's box office during the holiday weekend.

"Silence of the Lambs," based on the Thomas Harris novel and starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, pulled in $13.8 million at 1,496 screens during its debut weekend. It also took in $1.4 million on its opening day last week."Sleeping With the Enemy," starring Julia Roberts as the wife of a maniacal husband, continued performing strongly in its second weekend with a $12.8 million take at 1,467 screens, following up its $13.8 million debut weekend, the largest ever for a movie in February.

The slapstick comedy "King Ralph," starring John Goodman, debuted in third place with an adequate $8.3 million at 1,617 screens. The film, a story of a lounge singer elevated to the British throne because of an improbable accident, opened to mixed reviews.

"Home Alone," which led the box office for 12 straight weeks before falling to third in the previous weekend, took in $7.4 million at 1,815 screens, good enought for No. 4.

The Fox release has amassed a 95-day take of $230.2 million, enough to pass 1980's "The Empire Strikes Back" to become the eighth highest grossing movie of all time. "Home Alone" will probably move into seventh place on the all-time list this week past the $234.8 million grossed by the 1984 comedy "Beverly Hills Cop."

Academy Award front-runner "Dances With Wolves" remained in fifth, rustling up $6.2 million at 1,548 screens. The film, which received 12 Oscar nominations last week and a Writers Guild nomination Tuesday, has a 102-day gross of $111.7 million.

"L.A. Story," starring Steve Martin as a wacky TV weatherman, fell from No. 2 to No. 6 in its second weekend with $5.2 million at 1,120 screens for an 11-day total of $13.8 million.

The children's fantasy sequel "The Never Ending Story II: The Next Chapter" landed in seventh place with $4.2 million at 1,208 screens and an 11-day gross of $10.1 million.

The debut weekend of horror-spoof "Nothing But Trouble" grossed a disappointing $4 million at 1,671 screens to end up No. 8.

The top 10, weekend gross, total gross and weeks in release:

1. "SILENCE OF THE LAMBS," $13.8 million ($15.2 million, first week).

2. "Sleeping With the Enemy," $12.8 million ($31.1 million, two weeks).

3. "King Ralph," $8.3 million (first week).

4. "Home Alone," $7.4 million ($230.2 million, 14 weeks).

5. "Dances With Wolves," $6.2 million ($111.7 million, 15 weeks).

6. "L.A. Story," $5.2 million ($13.8 million, two weeks).

7. "The Never Ending Story II," $4.2 million ($10.1 million, two weeks).

8. "Nothing But Trouble," $4 million (first week).

9. "White Fang," $3.2 million ($24.9 million, five weeks).

10. "Awakenings," $2.7 million ($40.2 million, nine weeks).