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After all the free publicity, sycophantic interviews, obsequious op-ed pieces, and general media acclaim, Michael Moore’s health care schlockumentary is enduring a surprisingly anemic box office:
Sicko is bombing — financially and politically. After three weeks in wide release, it has managed to scrape together just $15.8 million in box office receipts. For most documentaries, that would be a notable take. But given the expectations, this is an enormous failure.
What’s that about?
One possible explanation for SiCKO’s sickly ticket sales is that much of his target audience had already watched it on the web before its official release. If that is indeed the explanation, it constitutes a particularly sweet brand of poetic justice.
But it is also possible to interpret SiCKO’s weak box office as a sign that the general public is not quite as dumb as Moore and his media accomplices think. Maybe the hoi polloi for whom he has such obvious contempt recognize Moore for what he is: a con artist.