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Tom Cruise's Antics Can't Dampen Success of War of the Worlds

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Tom Cruise’s 43rd birthday fell on Sunday, and did he ever have good reason to celebrate.

The international box-office haul for his War of the Worlds was huge: $204.2 million, including $101.7 million from its first five days of release in North America, according to its studio. It was the strongest opening for any Cruise film ever.

If anything, the numbers shoot down the theories of some industry observers who had speculated that Tom’s overt public displays of affection with fiancee Katie Holmes, his couch jumping on Oprah and his outspoken attacks on psychiatry and anti-depressants on Today might harm the $135-million sci-fi picture’s earnings.

Not that the dark, special-effects-laden Steven Spielberg adventure could better the record of Spider-Man 2, which made $152 million in the U.S. over its first five days during the July 4th weekend last year.

Still, War did top the current box-office champ, Batman Begins, which earned $72.9 million during its first five days two weeks ago.

Saturday’s $22.7 million in ticket sales for War represents the biggest single-day haul for both the star and the studio, the rep added.

As for how Tom actually spent his birthday, for the first time in weeks he seems to have maintained a decidely low profile.