Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Stars and Stripes : AAFES not pursuing prints of Moore's 'Fahrenheit 911'

WASHINGTON — AAFES said Monday it will not be pursuing prints of Michael Moore’s controversial film, “Fahrenheit 9/11” after all, saying the movie’s Oct. 5 DVD release doesn’t give it enough time to draw sufficient audiences.

Army and Air Force Exchange Service spokesman Judd Anstey said the decision to not procure the film was purely a business decision, and has nothing to do with its contentious political nature.

The film is a strong attack on President Bush and his policies after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, including the war in Iraq.

Anstey said that AAFES’ mission is to generate revenue to be put back into Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs, and therefore it has decided to not to run the film in overseas theaters.

A spokesman for the Fellowship Adventure Group, a company started by Miramax co-chairmen Harvey and Bob Weinstein, said it told AAFES “on or about” July 21 that 200 to 300 prints of “Fahrenheit 9/11” would be available to AAFES on Monday.

The group “did everything we were supposed to do” the spokesman said, including offering trailers and the printed media promotional material on July 22. “From that point on, they were unresponsive.”

The Fellowship Adventure Group was formed to distribute Moore’s film in conjunction with Lions Gate Films and IFC Films after Disney, which owns Miramax, blocked Miramax’s efforts to distribute it.

But AAFES had already booked what would be shown in its theaters up to Sept. 3, Anstey said. That gave AAFES a window of 35 days until the DVD release.

AAFES has run films with a shorter window, notably “Bend it Like Beckham,” which had a four-day window and from which AAFES earned $2,650, and “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton,” which it ran with a 32-day window and which earned $13,291, according to Anstey.

“‘Bend it Like Beckham’ demonstrates the business case why AAFES tries not to book films within 35 days of the film’s home video release date,” said John Walters, chief of motion picture services for AAFES. “ ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ drew minimum attendance”.

“Fahrenheit 9/11” has grossed $113.3 million at the U.S. box office so far.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home