More than half of Americans either have seen or plan to see Michael Moore’s controversial documentary, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” with its message highly critical of President Bush, according to Tuesday’s Gallup Poll.
Eight percent said they have already seen the movie, according to the poll. Eighteen percent say they expect to see it in a theater, and 30 percent plan to watch it on video. That adds up to a total of 56 percent who have seen or expect to see the film.
More Americans view the movie unfavorably than favorably, by a margin of 41 percent to 38 percent. But among those who have seen the movie, 85 percent give it a favorable rating.
More than seven in 10 Democrats and six in 10 Independents either have seen or plan to see the movie, but significant numbers of Republicans (38 percent) also have seen or plan to see it.
Age also relates to intentions about the documentary. Three-fourths of people under 30 have seen it or plan to, compared to 60 percent ages 30-49, 52 percent aged 50-64 and 32 percent of 65 and older.
“Fahrenheit 9/11” is the first documentary film in the United States to top box-office sales, earning $23.9 million its opening weekend. It has grossed more than $85 million is on track to pass the $100 million mark.
The movie is a scathing indictment of the Bush family’s connections to relatives of Osama Bin Laden, the president’s response to 9/11 and the war in Iraq.
Whether or not Moore’s movie influences votes in the upcoming presidential election, it continues to polarize.
Singer Linda Ronstadt on Saturday was booed and kicked out of a Las Vegas casino for praising Moore and his film. The 58-year-old singer praised Moore as “a great American hero” who “is spreading the truth.” She also dedicated the song “Desperado” to Moore and urged people to see his film.
Ronstadt’s comments drew boos and sent some audience members storming out of the theater. People tore down concert posters and threw cocktails in the air.
The management of Las Vegas Aladdin Casino and Resort removed her from the property for angering guests.
“It was a very ugly scene, hotel president Bill Timmins told the Associated Press. “She praised him and all of a sudden all bedlam broke loose.”
A Texas peace group plans to bring the film to President Bush’s backyard with a screening Aug. 14 in Crawford, Texas, near Bush’s ranch. With 700 citizens, Crawford doesn’t have a movie theater, so the movie will probably be shown on the side of a barn, Reuters reported.