Oblivion: Tom Cruise Sci-Fi Popular Abroad

Universal scored a solid $61 million overseas debut for “Oblivion” last weekend into an estimated $38.2 million Stateside opening, a better-than-expected result that lifts the film’s worldwide total to $150.2 million.

Internationally, “Oblivion” has earned $112 million so far. The $120 million-budgeted Tom Cruise sci-fier launched a week ago overseas to lengthen its playtime before Disney begins rolling out “Iron Man 3″ on April 24. The Marvel tentpole bows May 3 domestically.

The Stateside launch for “Oblivion” makes it the seventh-highest debut in April. It’s better than the 1999 debut of “The Matrix,” at nearly $28 million, and “The Scorpion King,” which launched with $36 million in 2002. “Oblivion,” which received a so-so B- CinemaScore, also is the second-largest opening for Cruise outside the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, behind “War of the Worlds” ($64 million).

“Oblivion” fell a respectable 42% this weekend internationally, with $33.7 million. The film’s top market, Russia, contributed $3.5 million, followed by the U.K., with $2.6 million. Pic’s 11-day total in Russia reached $14.8 million; Blighty, by comparison, has contributed $12.3 million in 10 days.

Domestically, “Oblivion” saw an encouraging 12% Friday-to-Saturday bump, but it had just 43% females with an overwhelming
74% over-25 turnout.

“The strategy of releasing the film when we did really paid off,” said U distribution prexy Nikki Rocco. “I hope that the picture finds its niche and plays through the coming weeks.”