Warner Bros. Pictures is widening the front for Peter Jackson’s widely-acclaimed World War I documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old. The studio will expand the release of the film to 500 theaters across 150 markets throughout the U.S. and Canada, beginning on Friday, February 1, 2019, with special pre-shows the evening before. The announcement was made today by Jeff Goldstein, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
The Warner Bros. release comes following the film’s hugely-successful Fathom Events dates, which yielded record-setting results. They Shall Not Grow Old took in $8.34 million, making it the highest-grossing U.S. Cinema Event release ever.
Jackson’s stunning restoration of footage from more than a century ago has received rapturous praise from both critics and audiences, and just earned a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Documentary. It is Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with an impressive 97% positive reviews and received an A CinemaScore.
In his announcement, Goldstein said, “We are proud to share Peter Jackson’s outstanding documentary with audiences across North America. Bringing us into the trenches and onto the battlefield of the Great War, the film stands as a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by all those who serve, both then and now.”
From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit trilogy) comes the groundbreaking documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, presented on the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Applying state-of-the-art restoration, colorization and 3D technologies to century-old footage — carefully chosen from hundreds of hours of original Great War film held in the archives of the Imperial War Museum (IWM) — Jackson has created an intensely gripping, immersive and authentic cinematic experience. The only narration comes from Great War veterans themselves, selected from over 600 hours of BBC and IWM archive interviews, resulting in a gripping account of “The War to End All Wars,” told by the soldiers who experienced it.
By restoring the original footage to a standard never seen before, the human face of WWI emerges with vivid clarity through the fog of time. Jackson captures the day-to-day experience of its soldiers and reveals the reality of war for those on the front line: their attitudes about the conflict; their camaraderie and their need for humor amidst the horror; the functions of daily life in the trenches; and what their lives were like during periods of rest. Using cutting-edge techniques to transform the images of a century ago into footage that could have been shot today, Jackson both remembers and honors a generation changed forever by a global war.
They Shall Not Grow Old was directed by Peter Jackson and produced by Clare Olssen and Jackson, with Ken Kamins, Tessa Ross, Di Lees and Jenny Waldman serving as executive producers. The film was edited by Jabez Olssen. The music is by David Donaldson, Janet Roddick & Steve Roche.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Wingnut Films Production, co‐commissioned by 14‐18 NOW and Imperial War Museum in association with BBC. This film has been rated R for disturbing war images.