Movie Article

Burning Question

The deal with Disney is over. The trailers are in theaters. Yep, everything's set for the June 25 release of Michael Moore's ''Fahrenheit 9/11,'' the incendiary Palme d'Or winner that attacks the Bush presidency. So to get ready, here are answers to three burning questions.

Who gets to see it?

More folks than first planned. The distributors -- the awkwardly named Fellowship Adventure Group (Lions Gate, IFC, and Miramax's Harvey and Bob Weinstein) -- decided to put ''Fahrenheit'' in as many as 1,000 theaters, up from the originally announced 500. And Moore lovers (and haters) in cities like Birmingham, Ala., fear not. ''It's going to go everywhere,'' says Tom Ortenberg, president of Lions Gate. ''It will be marketed as aggressively in the red states as the blue states [and] the purple states. Anyone near any major metropolitan center will get to see it.''

How much will the movie differ from what was shown at Cannes?

Only slightly. In France, Moore told journalists that he could make last-minute changes to keep the film current -- intriguing, given the resignation of CIA director George Tenet and the ongoing Abu Ghraib prisoner scandal. But he made only very minor alterations; to strike all those prints so quickly, the picture had to be locked two to three weeks before the release date.

Who is making the money?

Lions Gate will pick up a significant distribution fee for the theatrical and pay-TV rights, and IFC will land a check for grassroots marketing and distribution efforts, but make no mistake: This show belongs to the Weinsteins and Moore. ''Harvey and Bob are Harvey and Bob,'' says one person with knowledge of the deal. ''They've been terrific, great to work with. But that's absolutely where most of the money is going.''

Originally posted Jun 18, 2004 Published in issue #770 Jun 18, 2004 Order article reprints
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