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Moore's 'Capitalism' off to profitable start

September 24, 2009 | 12:40 pm

MooreCapitalism

Wednesdays in September are usually slow at the box office, but nothing could keep away Michael Moore's fan base in Los Angeles and New York City.

"Capitalism: A Love Story" sold about $36,000 worth of tickets at two theaters each in L.A. and two in New York, according to distributor Overture Films.

It's certainly not the biggest opening ever for the provocative left-wing filmmaker. "Fahrenheit 9/11," which still holds the record as the highest-grossing documentary in the U.S. and Canada, collected $83,922 from just two locations when it opened on a Wednesday in June 2004.

Nonetheless, $9,000 per theater on one day is very strong, particularly in the slow moviegoing month of September. That amount is typically considered healthy for a new film in limited release to gross over a three-day weekend, not a single weekday. "Bright Star" did just a little more than that last weekend, for instance, and was considered a modest success by distributor Apparition.

"Capitalism" now appears to be set up for a strong opening weekend as Moore's core fans will likely continue to turn out in New York and L.A. through Sunday. It's still an open question, however, whether the movie's controversial subject matter will attract a larger audience when Overture opens it around the country on Oct. 2.

-- Ben Fritz

Update (4:22 PM): A previous version of this post inaccurately stated that "Fahrenheit 9/11" opened in 2007.

Photo: Michael Moore in "Capitalism: A Love Story." Credit: Amy Sussman / Getty Images for Overture Films

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