This shouldn’t be taken as proof that the opposition to Donald Trump is really just some #fakenews, but Michael Moore’s anti-Trump film Fahrenheit 11/9 seems to be bombing at the box office, with the documentary’s returns coming in significantly lower than those of Moore’s own Fahrenheit 9/11, the Bush-era documentary it’s clearly meant to evoke. 11/9 came in at just over $3 million in its opening weekend, which is huge for a documentary, but 9/11 made $23 million in its opening weekend in 2004 (via Box Office Mojo) despite opening on half as many theaters as 11/9. To be fair, 9/11 is the highest grossing documentary of all time, but 11/9 will still end up as one of Moore’s lowest-grossing films by the time it finishes its theatrical run.
Both Variety and IndieWire are trying to figure out what happened, presenting reasonably viable theories like 11/9 being too “confrontational” and not hopeful enough, the general public being sick of Michael Moore’s whole shtick, and the news cycle already moving so quickly that any anti-Trump documentary feels kind of outdated, but we’ve got a simpler take: Thinking about Donald Trump is fucking exhausting, especially if you have to keep an eye on social media all day. Moore’s film doesn’t have any stunning revelations (“no pee tapes or tax returns” in the words of our own A.A. Dowd), so it really just exists to rile people up and remind them why it’s important to stand up against Trump and his GOP regime. That’s a fine goal, but to be honest, we’ve already got a lot of stuff riling us up as it is.