Peter Jackson's World War I documentary becomes latest nonfiction breakout hit
Nonfiction films are off to a brisk start at the box office in 2019, following a stellar year in 2018.
Peter Jackson's documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, which gives new life to World War I footage through 3D and colorization, made an impressive $1.7 million over the weekend, according to audience measurement firm comScore.
The film easily claimed the number one spot among documentaries in theatrical release, and pushed its cume to $13.6 million after eight weeks of release, comScore reported. They Shall Not Grow Old is now the fourth most popular documentary released in 2018, following Won't You Be My Neighbor? ($22.8 million), Free Solo $15.9 million), and RBG ($14 million).
Free Solo. the Oscar-nominated documentary about Alex Honnold, who climbed Yosemite's forbidding El Capitan rock race without ropes, finished in second place over the weekend, tallying $324,597. After 20 weeks of release, the film's cume stands at $15,933,605, according to comScore.
Free Solo, directed by E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, played at 153 locations, versus 827 for They Shall Not Grow Old.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.