Universal this weekend is rolling out Everest, its $60M adventure epic from Working Title, Cross Creek and Walden Media, in 36 overseas territories. With several No. 1s and good word of mouth, the international weekend is scaling toward $26.5M. Hot off its Venice and Deauville Film Festival play, Everest is really the only new, big Hollywood opener abroad this weekend (the younger-skewing Scorch Trials is expanding after bowing last frame). It’s been awhile since there’s been a major action opener abroad, actually not since Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
Some industry insiders, given Everest‘s disaster genre qualities, are comping it to San Andreas. However, that’s not apples-to-apples since SA launched in 60 markets, featured a major marquee star in Dwayne Johnson (especially for international) and opened to $64M. In the States, Everest is only in play at 545 Imax and PLF hubs and is overperforming with a FSS that is in the $6.8M-$7M range. Deadline hears that audience reactions have been through the roof.
Early results for Everest show No. 1 openings in Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Hungary, Iceland, India, Mexico, Poland, Romania, South Africa and Taiwan. Even though it is below Legend in the UK (which set records when it bowed last week), Everest posted a solid gross on Friday of $980K (£652K) and the total including seven days of large format screen previews is $2M (£1.3M). Australian audiences started hiking toward Everest on Thursday, making it No. 1 and giving it a terrific $890K including previews. Star Jason Clarke is Australian and the story revolves around his character, Rob Hall (a New Zealander). Down Under, the film has been embraced by families of the victims in the 1996 tragedy on the mountain.
Since opening in Mexico on Wednesday, Everest, with previews, counts $2.2M. In Iceland, Everest director Baltasar Kormakur’s native country, the movie is No. 1 with $32K at 11 dates. It is the second biggest opening day of the year there, and anticipation is that it will post the biggest opening weekend of 2015.
Twenty-nine more territories are left to release over the next few months. The question this weekend is how Germany does as Everest is up against the 2nd frame of huge local comedy Fack Ju Gohte 2. It will come in No. 2 with FJG2 scoring the best-ever 2nd weekend of a German film; but its numbers look solid there.