War of the Worlds enjoyed high Independence Day weekend box office takings, but could not beat the record set by Spider-Man 2 last year.
Cruise stars in the War of the Worlds remake
Tom Cruise's sci-fi thriller took $101.7m (£57.7m) in its first five days in the US, distributor Paramount said.
Spider-Man 2 raked in a record $152m (£86.3m) over the same holiday period in 2004.
War of the Worlds, directed by Steven Spielberg, has taken $204.2m (£115.9m) worldwide since its release.
The movie, an adaptation of HG Wells novel, cost a reported $135m (£76.6m) to make.
Cruise's publicity drive to promote War of the Worlds threatened to overshadow the movie, as he openly declared his love for new fiancée Katie Holmes and spoke about his Scientology beliefs.
But the film received positive reviews and was boosted by opening during the lucrative Independence Day weekend.
Most studios have not yet posted their weekend takings because of the bank holiday but War of the Worlds was expected to top the North American box office chart.
A full picture of the box office chart was expected on Monday, although experts predict takings will show their 19th consecutive fall on last year's revenue.