Film by E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin becomes third-highest grossing doc of 2018-2019
Free Solo continues to climb at the box office, reaching heights few documentaries have achieved. The film about Alex Honnold's unaided ascent of Yosemite's El Capitan earned another $813,812 at the box office over the weekend, pushing its cume to $12,324,598, according to audience measurement firm comScore. That puts it just above the total returns for Three Identical Strangers, which topped out its impressive box office run at $12,320,845 last year.
Free Solo now only ranks below Won't You Be My Neighbor? ($22.8 million) and RBG ($14 million) as the most successful documentaries of the last 12 months.
The film's weekend performance was boosted by the addition of IMAX screens to its theater total. It played at 154 total locations between IMAX and regular theaters, up 93 from the previous week.
"When we were making this film, we could not have imagined the response we have received,” Deadline.com quoted directors E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin as saying. “To be able to share Alex’s story of courage in the immersive Imax experience is something we’ve been working towards for over a year. It’s the ultimate reward for us."
Free Solo has reigned as the number one nonfiction film in theatrical release for 14 of the last 16 weeks. The documentary is one of 15 to make the Oscar shortlist, a list that includes Three Identical Strangers, RBG and Won't You Be My Neighbor? The Oscar nominations will be revealed January 22.
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.