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Box Office on Cruise Control as ‘Oblivion’ Heads for $38M Opening

Universal's sci-fi epic takes in $13.2M Friday with the actor looking at his best opening since 2006

The Tom Cruise sci-fi epic “Oblivion” took in $13.2 million Friday and will easily capture the weekend box office crown.

Universal’s futuristic adventure, directed by Joseph Kosinski (“Tron Legacy”) and co-starring Morgan Freeman, is outpacing analysts’ projections and is on pace for a three-day total of $38 million.

It’s a solid debut for Cruise, too. The opening number is better than that of his two films from last year – “Rock of Ages” and “Jack Reacher” – combined. And it is his best since 2006’s “Mission Impossible 3,” which took in $47 million in its first three days.

Also read: 'Oblivion' Reviews: Does Tom Cruise Still Have It?

“Oblivion” received a soft "B-" CinemaScore from audiences at a market-high 3,783 theaters, more than 300 of which were Imax. It came into its U.S. debut with momentum, having grossed $61 million in its international rollout last weekend.

"Oblivion" is the week's only new wide release. Focus Features, however, expanded its Ryan Gosling-Bradley Cooper drama "Place Beyond the Pines" from 514 to 1,542 theaters. It brought in $1.4 million Friday, good for sixth place, and is on pace for a $4.4 million fourth weekend.

About 15 theaters in Boston were closed Friday due to the hunt for the suspect in the marathon bombings. The overall box office was down about 20 percent from last year's comparable weekend, when "Think Like a Man" led the way with $33 million.

The Jackie Robinson movie “42,” last week’s No. 1 movie, was running second after taking in $5.2 million Friday, and is looking at a $17 million three-day total. Distributor Warner Bros. is looking for steady business from the Legendary Pictures baseball movie over the next few weeks, given its older-skewing audiences. It was on 3,250 screens, up 247 from last week.

Also read: 'Oblivion' Review: Tom Cruise Meets 'Tron,' 'Wall-E,' 'The Matrix' …

DreamWorks Animation's "The Croods," the only kids cartoon in the market, kept on ticking. It took $2.2 million Friday from 3,435 theaters and should wind up at around $9.5 million in its fifth weekend for distributor Fox. Its domestic total now stands at $147 million.

The Weinstein Company's horror spoof "Scary Movie 5' brought in $2 million and is on pace for a $6.6 million second week and fourth place. Paramount's "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" was in fifth after bringing in $1.5 million Friday and will likely finish the weekend at around $5.7 million.

Film District's thriller "Olympus Has Fallen" followed with $1.2 million Friday and should wind up at $4.2 million for the weekend. Two movies in their third week — Sony's "Evil Dead" and Universal's 3D re-release of "Jurassic Park" — were next, followed by Disney's "Oz the Great and Powerful."