The Tom Cruise sci-fi movie "Oblivion" will be coming into next weekend's U.S. debut with a full head of steam, after getting off to a fast start at the overseas box office.
Distributor Universal is estimating a $61 million weekend haul for the film, which debuted No. 1 in 48 of 52 overseas markets. The studio has high hopes for the $120 million film, which co-stars Morgan Freeman and is directed by Joseph Kosinski.
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The biggest market was Russia with $8.6 million and it was Cruise's best opening there. "Oblivion" opened No. 1 in the U.K. and Ireland, and brought in nearly $8 million.
The opening numbers are a far stronger than the foreign rollout of Cruise’s last movie, "Jack Reacher." That was a December Paramount release that wound up taking in $136 million overseas, after topping out at $80 million in the U.S.
Universal knows a big foreign debut doesn't always translate into domestic success. Last May the studio's "Battleship" brought in just $25 million in its domestic opening after rolling up more than $225 million overseas.
"Oblivion" wasn't the only strong international performer. DreamWorks Animation's "The Croods" took in another $25.5 million for distributor Fox over the weekend, to raises its overall international total to $244.8 million.
And Paramount's "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" took in another $15.6 million and has brought in $168 million overseas in three weeks, well ahead of the $152 million total foreign haul of the original film, 2009's "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra."
Fox's Bruce Willis action film "A Good Day to Die Hard" is nearing the end of its foreign run with $235 million.