The chilling "Silence of the Lambs" continued to heat up movie theaters, remaining No. 1 at the nation's box offices for the third straight week.

"Silence of the Lambs," based on the Thomas Harris novel, grossed $10.6 million at 1,535 screens for an impressive 18-day take of $45.5 million.The success of the Orion release, starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, boosts the chances of survival for the troubled studio, which now has back-to-back hits with "Silence of the Lambs" and Academy Award front-runner "Dances With Wolves."

"Silence" received strong competition from the opening of "The Doors," which grossed a solid $9.2 million at just 840 screens.

"The Doors," starring Val Kilmer as late rock star Jim Morrison, may improve its performance this weekend as it moves into several hundred more theaters. Moviegoers who saw the film gave strong approval ratings.

"Silence" and "The Doors" will be challenged this weekend by the high-concept action-comedy, "The Hard Way," which stars Michael J. Fox as a spoiled movie star and James Woods as "New York's angriest cop."

"Sleeping With the Enemy," starring Julia Roberts as as abused wife, continued to draw well in its fourth weekend with an $8.1 million take at 1,516 screens, good enough for third place. That gave it an impressive $53.5 million in 24 days.

"Home Alone," which led the box office for a dozen weeks until four weeks ago, sold $4.2 million of tickets at 1,670 screens. That gave the film a 109-day take of $241.7 million, nearly enough to pass "Raiders of the Lost Ark," the sixth-highest grossing movie of all time.

"Raiders" grossed $242.2 million after its release in 1981. "Batman," which grossed $251.2 million in 1989 to wind up in the fifth spot, would be the next milestone for "Home Alone."

The top 10, the week's gross, total gross and weeks in release:

1. "Silence of the Lambs," $10.6 million ($45.5 million, three weeks).

2. "The Doors," $9.2 million (first week).

3. "Sleeping With the Enemy," $8.1 million ($53.5 million, four weeks).

4. "King Ralph," $4.4 million ($20 million, three weeks).

5. "Home Alone," $4.2 million ($241.7 million, 16 weeks).

6. "Dances With Wolves," $3.94 million ($122.6 million, 17 weeks).

7. "Shipwrecked," $3.87 million (first week).

8. "L.A. Story," $2.3 million ($20.6 million, four weeks).

9. "Scenes From a Mall," $2.2 million ($7 million, two weeks).

10. "He Said, She Said," $2.1 million ($5.7 million, two weeks).