Steven Spielberg's epic War of the Worlds raked in 34.6 million dollars worldwide on its first day on screens, the biggest opening ever for a movie starring Tom Cruise, producers said.

The 135-million-dollar adaptation of HG Wells' 1989 science fiction novel notched up a whopping 21.3 million dollars in the United States and Canada alone, where it debuted Wednesday on 3,908 screens, Paramount Pictures said.

The ticket receipts represented the largest opening day in the history of Paramount Pictures as well as the largest opening day for a Tom Cruise movie, the studio said.

"We're ecstatic; this is just the beginning of a long and successful run at box offices around the globe," said the studio's vice chairman Rob Friedman.

"We've got a dream team of Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg and they've both delivered yet again," he added in a statement.