Box office: 'Everest' climbs to $26.5 million internationally

'Everest': Featurette - IMAX

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.

Take a look at images of the youngest person to ever climb Mount Everest:

Youngest Everest Climber
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Box office: 'Everest' climbs to $26.5 million internationally
Indian mountaineer Poorna Malavath, 13, poses for a photograph during an interview with AFP in Kathmandu on June 2, 2014. A 13-year-old poor Indian schoolgirl who is the youngest female to summit Mount Everest said she had never climbed a mountain before setting her sights on the world's highest peak. Malavath Poorna, the daughter of a tribal farm labourer, reached the top of the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) peak on May 25 following a difficult and dangerous climb from the Tibetan side of the mountain. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA/GETTY

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.

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