The Jackie Robinson tale "42" took in $27.3 million to claim the weekend box-office championship domestically, The Associated Press reports.
The film has yet to open overseas, where the sport is a harder sell. But Cruise knocked it out of the park with a $61.1 million international launch in 52 countries for his sci-fi thriller "Oblivion." That bodes well for the domestic debut of "Oblivion" next Friday. The film stars Cruise as a workman on a devastated future Earth who lands in a battle with aliens.
Released by Warner Bros., "42" easily beat the domestic start of an established franchise in "Scary Movie 5." The Weinstein Co. sequel opened in second place with $15.2 million, the smallest debut for the horror-comedy series.
Three of the previous four "Scary Movie" installments had debuts of $40 million or more.
Box-office trackers had expected "42" to pull in less than $20 million.