Documentaries 2018-2019: New Golden Age

It’s been a fantastically successful year at the domestic box office for documentary features, both critically and commercially.

Four non-fictional features surpassed the $10 million mark in ticket sales in 2018.

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor” ($22.8 million)

Fred Rogers appears in Won’t You Be My Neighbor? by Morgan Neville, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Jim Judkis. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or ‘Courtesy of Sundance Institute.’ Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

“RBG” ($14 million)

“Three Identical Strangers” ($12.3 million).

“Free Solo” (10 million and still running strong)

Last year was dubbed the new golden age of documentaries, though not all attempts found appreciative audiences.

Docus centering on uplifting protagonists like Honnold, Ginsburg, and Fred Rogers were able to strike a cord with moviegoers.

But political docus like controversial Dinesh D’Souza’s “Death of a Nation” ($5.8 million), admittedly a poor work.

Sadly, “Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9” was a disappointment ($6.3 million), after a good run of more than two decades.

Coming Up:

The 2019 Sundance Film Fest showed some popular non-fictional titles.

“Ask Dr. Ruth” featured the vet and famed sex therapist who survived the Holocaust.

“Leaving Neverland,” an expose of sexual assault allegations against the late singer Michael Jackson.

“Knock Down the House,” a look at the new generation of politicians, such as congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.