After nearly two months in theaters and all the hype that normally surrounds a Michael Moore film — much of it free thanks to a fawning media, “Capitalism: A Love Story” has flopped. Production costs, advertising costs and whatever Michael Moore takes above the line makes spinning a measly $14.2 million theatrical haul into anything other than a flop impossible.
Oh, you can be certain Moore’s fellow travellers in the entertainment media will try: “It’s the 5th highest grossing political documentary of all time!” But that’s like saying , “This is the fifth best car accident I’ve had this month!” A good rule of thumb is that after theaters take their cut, 55% of ticket sales make it back to the studio, and there’s no way $8 million is anything more than a sea of red.
After peaking with a near $120 million domestic take for “Fahrenheit 9/11″ in 2004, Moore’s subsequent fall from box-office grace has been sharp. 2007’s “Sicko” cleared a disappointing but respectable $24.5 million, “Captain Mike Across America” was so sure to lose money Moore ended up distributing his ego trip for free under the guise of a populist giveaway, and now “Capitalism” — which was about as timely as one could hope — makes about two-thirds of what “Sicko” did and is unlikely to do very well in foreign markets.
Like DVD sales, Moore’s stock is plummeting. In a 50/50 country conservatives and we Red State Rubes aren’t necessary for box office success. Two million is a generous estimate of “Capitalism” ticket buyers, which means that less than 3% of the 66.8 million who voted for Barack Obama bothered.
Like most everything political that comes out of Leftist Hollywood these days, even Leftists aren’t interested. No one enjoys propaganda or being spoon-fed dishonesty. Just because they vote for hollow slogans, empty promises and class warfare doesn’t mean they want to spend an evening with it.
With his cherry-picked “facts,” absurd arguments, and heavy reliance on emotional appeals and absurd stunts, Moore’s greatest achievement might be in exposing the only real way a Leftist can argue their case, but the fifty-five year old progressive muckraker appears to have lost his mojo … even with his base. Which only goes to prove that…