"Noah," which also stars Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson, also sailed smoothly in 22 international markets, such as Russia and Australia, earning $33.6 million abroad.
"It certainly feels like the film has really connected with both mainstream moviegoers who are looking for a really sophisticated film and those folks who really want to see a movie that honors their faith," said Rob Moore, Paramount vice chairman. "It's been a very interesting journey to get to this point, but it's definitely a spectacular launch."
"Noah" is the latest faith-centric film to win over audiences this year. Others include the independently released "God's Not Dead," which earned $9 million in its second outing this weekend, and "Son of God," whose domestic total now stands at $57.9 million since opening last month.
"I think these biblical-themed movies are like the next frontier in Hollywood," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. "Hollywood hadn't cracked the code on a biblical movie that would have mainstream appeal. Now, I think they've figured it out. We may see a flood — pun intended — coming down the pipeline. We already have 'Heaven is for Real' and 'Exodus' slated for later this year."
Elsewhere at the box office, Lionsgate's teen science-fiction thriller "Divergent" starring Shailene Woodley came in second place and earned $26.5 million in its second weekend, bringing its domestic total to $95.3 million.
"Muppets Most Wanted," the globe-trotting Muppet sequel from Disney featuring Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais, captured third place with $11.4 million in its second weekend. The latest Muppet caper's total domestic haul is now at $33.2 million.
The weekend's other major new release, "Sabotage," flopped in the seventh spot with $5.3 million. The Open Road action flick starring Arnold Schwarzenegger is the latest failure for the former California governor, whose "The Last Stand" and "Escape Plan" were box-office duds last year.
Disney's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," which opens in the U.S. on Friday, dominated 32 international markets by capturing $75.2 million. The sequel stars Chris Evans as the patriotic Marvel super-soldier.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.