EXCLUSIVE: In the wake of being shortlisted as one of the 15 documentaries in consideration at the Oscars, E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s docu Free Solo will get a one-week engagement run in domestic Imax theaters on January 11.
The pic follows free soloist climber Alex Honnold as he prepares for an unprecedented feat: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock, the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, without a rope.
Count Free Solo among those docs to rally at this year’s box office with $11 million to date alongside other short-listed non-fiction fare such as Won’t You Be My Neighbor ($22.6M), RBG ($14M) and Three Identical Strangers ($12.3M). Free Solo owns the opening-weekend screen-average record for a documentary with a massive $73,500 from four theaters.
In addition to being shortlisted, Free Solo was honored with three Critics’ Choice awards, including Most Innovative Documentary of the Year and Best Cinematography, and has also received nominations for PGA, IDA and Cinema Eye Honors.
The Imax release of Free Solo will be digitally remastered into the image and sound quality of The Imax Experience with proprietary Imax DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology.
“Imax’s differentiated, immersive theatres make audiences feel as though they are there with Alex in Yosemite National Park, climbing El Capitan, and we’re really pleased to be able to bring this incredible, historic story to fans so they can now experience it in Imax,” said Craig Dehmel, head of distribution at Imax Entertainment.
“The grandeur of El Capitan and the film’s breathtaking cinematography will be spectacular in Imax,” said Courteney Monroe, President, National Geographic Global Networks and Documentary Films. “Audiences have been filling theaters for months, uniting together to cheer for Alex’s staggering achievement. We are so grateful to Imax for providing audiences the opportunity to experience the scale and ambition of this film in Imax theaters.”
“When we were making this film, we could not have imagined the response we have received,” added directors Vasarhelyi and Chin. “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, and offers filmgoers and a chance to now see his historic and remarkable journey on the big Imax screen.”