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Box office alien invasion

“War of the Worlds” snatched up $21.3 million from 3,908 theaters on Wednesday, the biggest opening-day number for Paramount and star Tom Cruise. The movie, whose budget is officially listed at $135 million but believed to be higher, was co-financed by DreamWorks. Still, the figure sits well in a summer season in which the record book hasn’t had to be rewritten all that often. Nine other movies have had bigger midweek bows, but all were sequels (i.e., “The Matrix Revolutions,” which bowed with $24.3 million) with the exception of “The Passion of the Christ” ($26.6 million). Tops on the list is this summer’s “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” which made $50 million on its opening Thursday. Also opening this weekend is 20th Century Fox’s “Rebound,” bouncing into 2,464 locations and hoping to pick up biz from people turned off by the frights of “War.”

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