Free Solo gets Oscar bump to finish up 155-percent from previous week
Todd Douglas Miller's Apollo 11 launched in impressive fashion over the weekend, easily capturing the top spot at the documentary box office.
The film, which documents the NASA mission that propelled the first humans to the moon's surface, earned $1.6 million on IMAX screens, according to audience tracker comScore. It played at 120 locations, making an impressive $13,392 per screen. The documentary opens on regular-format screens across the U.S. this Friday.
Free Solo came in second place, lifted by its Oscar win for Best Documentary Feature. It made $372,119, up 155-percent from the previous week. The film directed by E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin has now made $16,955,796, comScore reported.
Last week we predicted They Shall Not Grow Old, the World War I documentary directed by Peter Jackson, would eclipse Free Solo's box office total over this weekend and that indeed is what happened. Its total now stands at $17,000,075 after taking in an additional $353,968 over the weekend, good enough for third place overall.
They Shall Not Grow Old thus becomes the second most popular documentary released in 2018, behind only Won't You Be My Neighbor? which accumulated $22.8 in theatrical release.
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.