David Bowie film Moonage Daydream is 2022's biggest documentary at the box office

David Bowie film Moonage Daydream is 2022's biggest documentary at the box office

Moonage Daydream, the acclaimed David Bowie film directed by Brett Morgen, is the biggest-grossing documentary of 2022 in any category.

According to figures produced by BoxOfficeMojo, the film has already grossed more than $12.2m, just over eight times the box office gross of the number two documentary 2000 Mules. A third of the box office revenue was from the US, with the remainder from international cinemas.

Moonage Daydream had its cinematic and IMAX global release on September 16, 2022, following its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

BMG and its co-production partner Live Nation Productions, the executive producers and financiers of the film, licensed US distribution rights to Neon with Universal Entertainment International handling the movie outside the US. North America cable and streaming rights have been licensed to HBO Max. 

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch, who served as executive producer of the movie, said: “This is incredible news. To emerge with the largest-grossing documentary in any category, not just music, is a significant endorsement of our decision to build a films unit in-house rather than to acquire. It shows the BMG approach can deliver not just in music publishing and records but in film too. There is a lot more to come.”

Moonage Daydream draws extensively on Bowie’s 1970 to 1977 song catalogue in which BMG has a 25% stake including Changes, Starman, Ziggy Stardust, The Jean Genie, All The Young Dudes, Life On Mars, Rebel Rebel, Fame, Young Americans and Golden Years. 

With never-before-seen footage, as well as live performances and music, the film is guided by Bowie’s narration with long-time collaborator and friend Tony Visconti serving as the film’s music producer.

Fred Casimir, EVP, global repertoire, said: “Moonage Daydream elevates the art of the music documentary to a new level. Brett Morgen doesn’t merely depict Bowie and his music, he embodies it visually to create a new immersive experience. It is great to see that such a creative achievement can also be a commercial success.”

Moonage Daydream follows several other high-profile BMG film releases this year including the first ever, career-spanning documentary on metal icon Ronnie James Dio, Dio: Dreamers Never Die. The film premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in March and made its worldwide theatrical debut in the autumn. 

In May, Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T Rex made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. 

In 2021, BMG revealed it had partnered with Pulse and Quickfire Films and Lewis Capaldi for his upcoming debut feature-length documentary film. 

Earlier this year, BMG announced Squaring The Circle (the story of Hipgnosis), the first feature documentary from celebrated filmmaker, photographer and creative director Anton Corbijn. The film chronicles legendary designers Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey “Po” Powell and their iconic album art design studio Hipgnosis.


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