Universal’s mountaineering epic “Everest” has launched impressively with $26.5 million in 36 international territories this weekend, finishing first in a dozen markets.
The film, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin and Jason Clarke, posted No. 1 openings in Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Iceland, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, South Africa and Taiwan.
“Everest” opened Friday in the U.S. with a respectable $2.3 million at 545 premium large-format locations, putting it on track for a weekend debut of $7.1 million as the studio attempts to build buzz for a wide release next weekend.
The film is directed by Baltasar Kormákur and written by William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy. It’s based on the 1996 Mount Everest disaster and focuses on the efforts to survive by expedition groups led by Scott Fischer (Gyllenhaal) and Rob Hall (Clarke).
The film, a co-production with Working Title, Cross Creek and Walden Media, opened the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 2 and has received solid critical support since then. It last screened at the Toronto Film Festival.
In the U.K. and Ireland, “Everest” was runner-up to Tom Hardy’s “Legend” with $980,000, lifting its total to $2 million, including large-format screen previews. The pic has grossed $890,000 in Australia since Thursday, including previews.
“Everest” has reeled in $2.2 million in Mexico since Wednesday. In Iceland, home to Kormakur, the film generated $32,000 at 11 sites — the second biggest opening day of 2015.