It will be big in NYC, LA, and Chicago. It will hit big (for an indie) this weekend. Then it will sink, although it's possible that it might hang on in indie theaters like Bowling did. $6 million, best.
Look, there are people in New York that are stupid enough to buy this, but I think "flyover country" is a little smarter than that.
Here's an example of what I mean, from Roger Simon's Fox411 column today.
'Fahrenheit' Smash Hit in NYC
Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" broke all records yesterday in its premiere showing. Lincoln Plaza Cinemas manager Mohammed Alam told me last night that the film grossed a stunning $31,569 and all sixteen performances were sold out.
"From the beginning of the day until the end," Alam said, "I have never seen anything like it." Four shows for today are already sold out, and Alam expects a repeat performance.
Meantime, another bigger record was set downtown at the Village Cineplex 7, the only other theatre in the country playing "F9/11" before its national opening on Friday. The box office gross there was $48,000.
"It's a record," managing director Scott Rosenmann told me. "People have been crying and applauding at the end of shows. Some say they don't want to live in America anymore."
Rosenmann was keeping the theatre open all night last night, and even had tickets sold for the 2:30 a.m. show.
People have been crying and applauding? They don't want to live in America anymore? Hey, I hear France is really nice. Except in August, when it can be a little unpleasant, especially if you're elderly. P.S. Please take Alec Baldwin with you, he still hasn't kept his promise to leave.
So, oooohh, it was showing at two theaters in all of Manhattan. How thrilling. So all of those Manhattanites (including expats from everywhere and sundry UN characters, Bush fans all) could get their Bush-bashing Michael Moore groove on two days early. I'm sure that's very representative of the rest of the country.
Then there's this review in the Dallas Observer, our "alternative" weekly, where the reviewer basically says, "Michael Moore played me and I loved every minute of it!"
I mean, I frankly do not understand how people who pretend to know so much about film think he is the most. You can see it in the ad that's running on TV right now. GWB is on the golf course and makes a very serious comment about the war on terror. Then, immediately, he says (I'm quoting from memory), "Now watch this swing!" Omigosh! It's pretty callous - I would find it so myself - or, anyway, I would find it so if it was not obvious that there was a cut between his serious remark and his golf swing. This is the exact same thing that he did to Charlton Heston in Bowling for Columbine! And it's in the commercial! So how do you suppose the film is going to be?
Sure, it's cool and all to win the Palme d'Or and get "the longest standing ovation in the history of the Cannes Film Festival." There's a certain demographic that that sort of thing will appeal to, and I'm sure they'll watch this happily and uncritically because it speaks to their prejudices about the president. If Moore was on the right, he'd have been sliced and diced ten ways from Sunday by now. But because he's on the left, he's acclaimed and adored and is a critical darling. Jean-Luc Godard may be able to criticize him (scroll down), but Roger Ebert thinks Moore has learned his lesson from the criticisms of Bowling for Columbine. Um, I think not, and we'll see this film picked apart pretty well. Now, if a rightist filmmaker had made a film like this about Clinton, everyone would be saying, "Oh, come on, get over it already!" But because GWB is the spawn of Satan, well, that's okay.
I'm not sure if Moore really believes this stuff, or if he's found a goldmine of hatred and finds it so insanely profitable to keep mining it. I tend to believe the second, because his "facts" are so poor and his films so slapdash. If he were a true believer he would do a better job, I'd think.
Anyway, that's the great thing about America - Michael Moore can make a crapulent film criticizing the president, and instead of getting questioned or locked up, he wins accolades and pockets big bucks. What a great country.