Box Office: 'Fault in Our Stars' Eyes Stunning $52M-Plus Debut, Crushes 'Edge of Tomorrow'

The Fault in Our Stars Woodley Elgort Reading on Couch - H 2014
James Bridges/Twentieth Century Fox

The Fault in Our Stars Woodley Elgort Reading on Couch - H 2014

UPDATED: Tom Cruise's sci-fi film is doing slightly better than expected, but still headed for a problematic $30 million domestic launch; "Maleficent" crosses $100 million.

Younger females are storming the North American box office to see The Fault in Our Stars, which took in a whopping $26.1 million on Friday for a projected $52 million-plus debut. That's a major victory for Fox 2000, which made the romantic drama for a mere $12 million.

Females under the age of 25 make up the vast majority of the audience for Fault, the film adaptation of John Green's best-selling YA novel starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as two young lovers who meet in a cancer support group. Fault opened ahead of Divergent, the recent YA film adaptation starring Woodley that debuted to $22.8 million on its first Friday.

Fault in Our Stars is trouncing Tom Cruise's big-budget Edge of Tomorrow, a sci-fi epic that cost Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow at least $178 million to produce.

The critically acclaimed Edge of Tomorrow did slightly better than expected at the Friday box office, earning $10.6 million for a possible $30 million weekend. That's still a problematic number, considering the movie's cost.

In North America, Edge earned a B+ CinemaScore, compared to an A for Fault.

STORY: Why 'Fault in Our Stars' Author John Green Is 'Freaking Out' About Hollywood Success

Fault's ultimate opening number will depend upon how much it drops on Saturday, considering how fan driven the movie is. Comparisons are difficult, resulting in a wide range of estimates for Fault from rival studios (one studio even has $57 million for the weekend, while another has $47 million).

Producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are certainly no strangers at winning over females, having spearheaded the Twilight franchise for Summit Entertainment.

Josh Boone directed The Fault in Our Stars from an adapted script by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. The movie also stars Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Nat Wolff and Willem Dafoe.

Fault launches in a handful of foreign markets this weekend, including Brazil, where Green's book is a cultural phenomenon.

Directed by Doug Liman and co-starring Emily Blunt, Edge of Tomorrow stars Cruise as a military spin doctor who finds himself on the battlefield, where he is forced to live the same day over and over again. Edge couldn't match the $13.3 million grossed by Cruise's last film, the sci-fi epic Oblivion, on its first Friday. Oblivion, released by Universal in April 2013, went on to gross $37.1 million for the weekend.

Warners is counting on Edge of Tomorrow to make up ground overseas, where Cruise remains a far bigger star. The movie opened to strong numbers in China on Thursday, grossing $6.7 million, the No. 4 opening of the year. And it scored the top opening day of all time for a Cruise film in Russia ($1.4 million). Edge, which began rolling out in select markets last weekend, has now earned $41 million internationally.

Edge of Tomorrow placed No. 2 on Friday, but it could to lose that spot to Disney holdover Maleficent for the weekend.

Maleficent, fueled by females and families, raced past the $100 million mark on Friday after earning $10.1 million for the day and pushing its domestic total to $104 million. Angelina Jolie's live-action fairy tale is expected to hold well in its second weekend, falling 53 percent to an estimated $32.6 million for a North American total of $126 million-plus.

Fox's X-Men: Days of Future Past came in No. 4 on Friday with $4.5  million. The tentpole is expected to gross $14.7 million for the weekend for a domestic total of $189 million.

Seth MacFarlane's ill-fated A Million Ways to Die in the West placed No. 5 with $2.2 million, a steep 63 percent drop from its first Friday. The R-rated Western comedy is projected to earn $6.8 million for the weekend for a disappointing running cume of $29.7 million.

Here are the top 10 estimates for Friday, June 7, at the domestic box office:

Title, Weeks in Release/Theater Count, Studio, Friday Total, Cume

1. The Fault in Our Stars, 1/31,71, Fox, $26.1 million.

2. Edge of Tomorrow, 1/3,490, Warner Bros./Village Roadshow, $10.6 million.

3. Maleficent, 2/3,948, Disney, $10.1 million, $104 million.

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past, 3/3,639, Fox, $4.5 million, $178.9 million.

5. A Million Ways to Die in the West, 2/3,160, Universal/MRC, $2.2 million, $25.2 million.

6. Godzilla, 4/3,110, Warner Bros./Legendary, $1.8 million, $180.9 million.

7. Neighbors, 5/2,674, Universal, $1.6 million, $134.2 million.

8. Blended, 3/2,928, Warner Bros., $1.3 million, $33.7 million.

9. Chef, 5/1,298, Open Road Films, $716K, $8.5 million.

10. Million Dollar Arm, 4/1,643, Disney, $591K million, $30.1 million.