'Fahrenheit 9/11' breaks records in opening weekend

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The Independent Online

Michael Moore's controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 has broken British box office records in its opening weekend.

Michael Moore's controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 has broken British box office records in its opening weekend.

The film has taken £1.3m since its release on Friday - the biggest opening for a documentary. It now looks set to become Britain's highest-grossing documentary. The record is held by a mountaineering film, Touching the Void, which took £2.58m.

In the United States, Fahrenheit 9/11 became the first documentary to top the box office and has taken $80m (£45m) so far.

It opened oin Britain on 132 screens and has been greeted with standing ovations from cinema-goers. Britain's previous highest opening weekend for a documentary was set by Bowling for Columbine, Moore's last film, which took £158,000 in its first three days.

Fahrenheit 9/11, a scathing attack on the Bush administration and the war in Iraq, has also become the highest opener for a winner of the Cannes film festival Palme d'Or, beating Pulp Fiction, which took £705,000.

Moore portrays George Bush as a bumbling incompetent who, prior to 11 September 2001, spent almost as much time on holiday as he did on running the country. He accuses Mr Bush of using the 11 September attacks to justify the invasion of Iraq, and claims the real reason for going to war was oil. The filme exposes links between the Bush dynasty and the Saudi royal family. The maverick film maker hopes Fahrenheit 9/11 will help to unseat Mr Bush in the November election.

Critical reaction has been largely positive, but the backlash in the US has already begun. Mike Wilson, a right-wing film maker, is planning to turn the tables by releasing his own documentary, Michael Moore Hates America.

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