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Tom Cruise's 'Oblivion' obliterates competition with $38 milllion box office

Tom Cruise's sci-fi pic "Oblivion" opened to $38.2 million at the domestic box office to come in No. 1 after a better-than-expected performance and despite a B- CinemaScore. Overseas, the Universal pic continued to please, grossing $33.7 million in its second weekend for an international cume of $112 million and worldwide total of $150.2 million.

The movie marks the actor's best North American opening outside of the "Mission: Impossible" franchise, not accounting for inflation.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski ("Tron: Legacy"), "Oblivion" co-stars Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Melissa Leo. Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark produced. The pic cost Universal and Elliot Inc. at least $120 million to produce.

Adult male moviegoers fueled "Oblivion," making up 57 percent of the audience.

Cruise's track record domestically has been mixed. "Jack Reacher" debuted to $15.2 million in December on its way to earning a so-so $80 million in North America. Conversely, "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol," opening to $29.6 million in December 2011, turned into a box-office monster, grossing nearly $700 million worldwide.

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Sci-fi is a familiar genre for Cruise, who starred in "War of the Worlds" and "Minority Report," both directed by Steven Spielberg.

Set in 2077, 60 years after Earth has been destroyed by aliens, "Oblivion" follows one of the last humans stationed on the planet as he uncovers a troubling secret.

Universal decided to get a jump on the beginning of the crowded summer box office by opening "Oblivion" now. The studio has gone aggressively after males by advertising during major sporting events including the NCAA's March Madness.

Speaking of sports, Legendary and Warner Bros.' Jackie Robinson biopic "42" continued to score strong numbers in its second weekend, declining a slim 34 percent to come in No. 2 with $18 million. The baseball drama's 10-day domestic total is $54.1 million.

Paramount's "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" jumped the $300 million mark in its fourth weekend, thanks to stellar $33 million opening in China. The sequel has grossed $111.2 million domestically and $211.7 million internationally for a worldwide cume of $322.9 million. In China, the pic outpaced the first film by a four-to-one margin.

Expanding nationwide over the weekend, Derek Cianfrance's indie drama "The Place Beyond the Pines," starring Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling, placed No. 6 in North America. The film, from Focus Features and Sidney Kimmel, took in $4.7 million for a total $11.4 million.

PHOTOS: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman at "Oblivion" premiere

Below are the top 10 estimates for the April 12-14 weekend at the domestic box office.

Title, weeks in release/theater count, studio, three-day weekend total, cume.

  1. "Oblivion," 1/3,783, Universal, $38.2 million
  2. "42," 2/3,250, Warners/Legendary, $18 million, $54.1 million
  3. "The Croods," 5/3,435, Fox/DreamWorks Animation, $9.5, $154.9 million
  4. "Scary Movie 5," 2/3,402, The Weinstein Co., $6.3 million, $22.9 million
  5. "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," 4/3,175, Paramount, $5.8 million, $111.2 million
  6. "The Place Beyond the Pines," 4/1,542, Focus/Sidney Kimmel, $4.7 million, $11.4 million
  7. "Evil Dead," 3/2,823, Sony/TriStar/FilmDistrict, $4.1 million, $48.5 million
  8. "Olympus Has Fallen," 5/2,638, FilmDistrict, $4.5 million, $88.1 million
  9. "Jurassic Park," 3/2,330, Universal, $4 million, $38.5 million
  10. "Oz The Great and Powerful," 7/2,504, Disney, $3 million, $223.8 million

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