Monday Morning Quarterback
By BOP Staff
October 5, 2009
Pulls out bullhorn to ask next question...Kim Hollis: Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore's latest polemic, platformed to 962 locations, where it earned $4.9 million. Do you consider this performance good, bad or somewhere in the middle? Do you think the bloom is off the rose for Moore?
Tim Briody: For a documentary, it's still pretty solid. Had this come out a year ago, it may have been bigger, though. And it turns out that Sicko was two years ahead of its time. That would do tremendous business right now with the health care debate still going. Who knew?
Michael Lynderey: It's somewhere in the middle for this film in particular, but bad when you look at Moore's box office storyline as a whole. Sicko came in with about a fifth of Fahrenheit 9/11's total, and now this one's going to finish with maybe half of what Sicko took in. In fact, at the end of his new movie, Moore actually says "I can't keep doing this, unless you join me". Box office-wise, he's right. Maybe this is his last one for a while, but it's certainly capping off a remarkable decade in terms of documentary box office, the biggest since that '70s batch of films like Chariots of the Gods and In Search of Noah's Ark.
Reagen Sulewski: I think audiences are basically feeling like Moore's films are more or less the same trick each time, just repackaged slightly differently. There's only so many times you can try to preach at a mass audience before you turn them off, and I don't think people think Moore has anything new to tell them. That said, it's already halfway to making the list of top ten documentaries of all time, so relatively speaking it's still a pretty powerful testament to Moore's appeal.
David Mumpower: I mentioned when Sicko came out that it was obvious his polemics had grown a bit long in the tooth for mainstream consumers. In hindsight, I have come to agree with Tim's assessment that the film wasn't timed well. If he had done Capitalism first, it would have been timed with the unprecedented economic collapse, albeit in a way that fundamentally alters the content of the film. Meanwhile, Sicko would be a much more engaging today than it was two years ago. Even so, he's still making more money with his documentaries than anybody else on the planet is managing.