MacGillivray Freeman’s Mountain Epic Has Surpassed $147 Million at the Worldwide Box Office and is the Top-Grossing Giant-Screen Documentary Of All Time
Eleven years after it was released to outstanding critical acclaim and record-breaking attendance records in giant-screen theatres, MacGillivray Freeman’s giant-screen epic, Everest, was inducted into the IMAX Hall of Fame last week during the Giant Screen Cinema Association’s annual GSCA Achievement Awards in Indianapolis. The award caps more than a decade of groundbreaking achievements for the film, which has taken in more than $147 million in worldwide ticket sales and is the highest-grossing giant-screen documentary in history.
Everest is MacGillivray Freeman’s third film to be inducted into the IMAX Hall of Fame, following To Fly! in 2001 and The Living Sea in 2007. The IMAX Hall of Fame is administered by the IMAX Corporation, which every year inducts one film that has made an enduring and significant contribution to the giant screen industry. Eligible films must have been in release for at least ten years.
“We are deeply honored by this recognition of Everest’s contributions to our industry, and we thank our film partners and exhibitors for their support in making the film such an enduring success, ” said producer/director Greg MacGillivray, who accepted the award. “We are grateful to have been a part of this historic filmmaking adventure which introduced audiences around the world to the splendor of the Himalayas and inspired people everywhere to go after their dreams.”
“We share this honor with some real-life heroes—the climbers and Sherpas who risked their lives to bring this story of courage and perseverance to the giant screen, ” said Stephen Judson, producer, director, writer and editor of Everest. “Most of us will never set foot on the summit of Everest, but the movie takes us there. What a privilege.”
The epic story of three climbers’ triumphant ascent of the world’s tallest mountain during the fateful 1996 climbing season, Everest was first released in 1998 to universal acclaim and quickly shattered all industry attendance records. It was the first and only giant-screen film to reach Variety’s top 10 box office chart, and the first to play in nearly 100 theatres simultaneously, establishing new benchmarks for the giant-screen industry. The film has been exhibited in more than 250 giant-screen theatres around the world.
“Those of us fortunate to have been working in the giant-screen industry when Everest came out will never forget the outpouring of excitement and enthusiasm generated by the film, ” said Doug King, President and CEO of the Saint Louis Science Center. “The film raised the profile of our OMNIIMAX Theatre to exciting new heights and helped usher in a new era of growth and expansion in our industry.”
More than twenty giant-screen theatres have reported outstanding attendance of more than 250, 000 people including Boston’s Museum of Science, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Science Museum of Minnesota, San Jose’s Tech Museum of Innovation, Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, Seattle’s Pacific Science Center, San Diego’s Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, Science World British Colombia, La Géode in Paris, Mexico City’s Papalote Museo del Nino, and the Sydney IMAX Theatre.
In response to the global success of Everest, MacGillivray Freeman Films is producing a sequel, Return to Everest 3D (working title), which will reunite two of Everest’s stars, Jamling Norgay and Araceli Segarra, on a journey back to Nepal. The climbers are part of a 250-member medical expedition led by twenty-five doctors who are studying the effects of hypoxia on the world’s tallest mountain. The results of their studies will benefit the treatment of critically ill intensive care patients whose low blood oxygen levels mirror those of climbers at altitude.
Everest was produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films in association with the Everest Film Network and with major funding provided by the National Science Foundation. The film is narrated by Liam Neeson and features music by George Harrison. It is the first film in MacGillivray Freeman’s Great Adventure Film® series, a brand that encompasses original giant screen productions based on real-life adventures in remote locations and that celebrate the discovery of the natural world.
About MacGillivray Freeman Films and the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation
MacGillivray Freeman Films is the world’s leading independent producer and distributor of special venue, giant-screen 70mm motion pictures that enrich lives and inspire discovery of the natural world. The company’s films have won numerous international awards including two Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary Short Subject for Dolphins and The Living Sea. It is the only production company with three films inducted into the IMAX Hall of Fame. In 2004, company president Greg MacGillivray and his wife Barbara founded the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) public charity, to fund and produce educational giant screen films and companion educational programming focusing on science, the environment, world culture and natural heritage locations. MacGillivray Freeman films are known for their artistry and successful blend of education and entertainment, as well as their celebration of science and the natural world.
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