The Peter Jackson produced and directed World War I documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” will hit Chinese theaters on November 11. Though it will roll out nationwide, it will do so via the China’s National Arthouse Alliance, which has limited screens.
The 2018 documentary puts together interviews with WWI veterans and more than 100-year-old archival footage from the BBC and Imperial War Museum, restored via colorization and other production techniques to make it appear much more real to modern viewers.
The film premiered at the London Film Festival and was more broadly released by Warner Brothers earlier in February this year. It was nominated for a Best Documentary BAFTA Award, but was deemed ineligible for submission to the Oscar race for best documentary because it missed a filing deadline.
Peter Jackson is a big name in China, where all of his “Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” movies have seen theatrical releases, as well as his 2005 film “King Kong.” The most successful of the bunch at the box office was also the most recent — 2015’s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which grossed $122 million in China at the time.
In January, “Mortal Engines” — a post-apocalyptic adventure story directed by Christian Rivers but co-written and produced by Jackson — made about $7.5 million in China.